California is earthquake country, from the San Andreas fault, which marks the edge of a tectonic plate, to the smaller but still dangerous faults that riddle San Diego County. We remember this every once in a while when we’re shaken out of bed, as Los Angelenos were on Monday morning.
Things have been quiet in San Diego lately, however, with the exception of Easter Sunday’s shocker of a quake in 2010. Looking back even further, the entire state had a rather quiet 108 years, with only a few quakes in the range of magnitude 7.
It may not seem like much of a lull to those whose loved ones died when quakes hit the Bay Area, the San Fernando Valley and Northridge from the 1970s through the 1990s.
But quakes are indeed taking some time off, says John Dvorak, author of the new book “Earthquake Storms: The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault.” He says the last century was much quieter than the previous 100 years.
That, he says, can’t last. Dvorak, a geophysicist who now works at an observatory in Hawaii, contends that the Big One — or the Big Ones — can’t be dismissed as myth.
In other words: Trouble is coming.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I remember back when La Jolla parkway was Ardath road at the end of 52 some geologists had painted a straight line on the road just before the top of the hill for observation. Over the course of a couple years the line became a jagged one.
They should do that again. Really get people shook up.
The professor failed to mention that one key to preventing or minimizing damage in a major earthquake is avoiding building new structure on top of active earthquake faults. The Rose Canyon/Coronado earthquake fault runs beneath the downtown San Diego waterfront, yet
the port district and Civic San Diego continue to allow developers to ignore state laws when it
comes to what you can and cannot legally build on seismic faults. Talk about whistling past
the graveyard. This stupid practice will come back to haunt us when a major quake hits downtown. Strangely enough our local media has been deaf and dumb on this subject.
The Rose Canyon Fault shapes the unique geography of Dan. Diego and Tijuana. Without it, there would be no San Diego Bay, Mission Bay, or Point Loma.or La Jolla.
Please explain to the geophysicist that the shady business practices of the City of San Diego, Port of San Diego, North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, the Airport Authority, Harbor Island, and the Convention Center. All have yet to confirm or deny active faulting or delineate the path of the Coronado and Spanish Bight strands of the Rose Canyon Fault Zone on State Tidelands. All with approval by the California Coastal Commission (CCC).
There is literally billions in new subsurface PVC, Infrastructure, and public assets prone to failure due to creep or permanent ground deformation that has been installed on liquefiable soils. The City has been sued by several private condos and the airport due to broken public utilities in areas of presumed active faulting. The City Attorney and the Courts agreed that there are No Seismic Hazards in San Diego County, due to a lack of digital Hazard maps prepared by the State Geologist.
John Parrish our State Geologist has received funding in Governor Brown's Budget to map active faults in urban areas. After Hollywood Fault, and the associated Santa Monica Fault extension, San Diego Bay is next on the list of areas to be studied.
"Parrish said that many previous studies done in the area — including published research in the 1990s and investigations done for the Metro subway — suggested that a fault investigation would've been a good idea. "So a prudent developer … and maybe the planning department would have said, 'It's best to do a fault study here,'" Parrish said."
Remember the seismic retro-fit contractor who was ripping us off and not installing or welding all the required re-bar on the columns of the Mission Valley span of I-805?