Last Updated: Thursday, March 12, 2015

California Earthquake Prediction: USGS says 8.0 earthquake more likely in next 30 years


California earthquake prediction has shown more likelihood of magnitude 8.0 or greater earthquake in next 30 years. The chance of a magnitude 8.0 or greater earthquake hitting California in the next three decades have been raised from about 4.7% to 7%, a new California earthquake forecast report by the U.S. Geological Survey has shown.

“The new likelihoods are due to the inclusion of possible multi-fault ruptures, where earthquakes are no longer confined to separate, individual faults, but can occasionally rupture multiple faults simultaneously,” lead author and USGS scientist Ned Field said.

The report also claims that the Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, or UCERF3, improves upon previous models by incorporating the latest data on the state’s complex system of active geological faults, as well as new methods for translating these data into earthquake likelihoods. 

"This big California earthquake prediction has shown the probability of a strong magnitude-8 quake greater since the last assessment seven years ago"

california_earthquake_prediction_usgs_map
Three-dimensional perspective view of the likelihood that each region of California will experience
a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years (6.7 matches the magnitude of the
1994 Northridge earthquake, and 30 years is the typical duration of a homeowner mortgage) - via USGS
"The southern San Andreas, going through the Coachella Valley and up through the Mojave, is the most likely place in the state to host a large earthquake," USA Today has written quoting the Ned Field.

The USGS partner organizations that contributed to this product include the Southern California Earthquake Center, the California Geological Survey and the California Earthquake Authority.

“The UCERF3 model provides our leaders and the public with improved information about what to expect, so that we can better,” said Tom Jordan, Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center and a co-author of the study.

Recommended Post: Why 9.8 magnitude earthquake won't hit California on May 28, 2015?

Southern California Earthquake Prediction Report available at:

U.S. Geological Survey. "New long-term earthquake forecast for California." Retrieved from: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=4146