Exciting news! We're transitioning to the Statewide California Earthquake Center. Our new website is under construction, but we'll continue using this website for SCEC business in the meantime. We're also archiving the Southern Center site to preserve its rich history. A new and improved platform is coming soon!

An Elusive Blind-Thrust Fault Beneath Metropolitan Los Angeles

John H. Shaw, & Peter M. Shearer

Published March 5, 1999, SCEC Contribution #668

Seismic reflection profiles, petroleum wells, and relocated earthquakes reveal the presence of an active blind-thrust fault beneath metropolitan Los Angeles. A segment of this fault likely caused the 1987 Whittier Narrows (magnitude 6.0) earthquake. Mapped sizes of other fault segments suggest that the system is capable of much larger (magnitude 6.5 to 7) and more destructive earthquakes.

Key Words
United States, geophysical surveys, Whittier Narrows earthquake 1987, elastic waves, mapping, frequency, waveforms, California, recurrence interval, blind faults, seismicity, seismic risk, faults, Los Angeles County California, orientation, seismic profiles, geophysical methods, magnitude, reflection method, magnitude, reflection methods, geometry, thrust faults, surveys, geophysical profiles, seismic waves, earthquakes

Shaw, J. H., & Shearer, P. M. (1999). An Elusive Blind-Thrust Fault Beneath Metropolitan Los Angeles. Science, 283(5407), 1516-1518. doi: 10.1126/science.283.5407.1516.