Computer predicts quakes in S.F. area

October 10, 2005

Scientists say the San Francisco Bay Area has a 25-percent chance of a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake during the next 20 years.

A University of California-Davis computer simulation called Virtual California was used to simulate earthquake activity in the San Francisco segment of the San Andreas fault over a 40,000-year period, yielding 395 simulated earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher on the Richter scale and an average recurrence interval of 101 years.

The simulation data predict a 25 percent chance of another magnitude 7.0 or greater quake occurring during the next 20 years, a 50 percent chance in the next 45 years, and a 75 percent chance during the next 80 years.

The computer simulation was designed by John Rundle and colleagues in an effort to better predict earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The authors introduced unique statistical forecasting methods by considering not only the large San Andreas Fault, but all the complex interactions between it and adjacent faults.

The research is presented in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Monthly brain cycles predict seizures in patients with epilepsy

Related Stories

Medications alone don't help smokers quit, study finds

December 21, 2017

Pharmaceutical interventions are routinely prescribed to help people quit smoking. However, a new study by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers suggests that, despite promising results in clinical ...

Recommended for you

How massive can neutron stars be?

January 16, 2018

Astrophysicists at Goethe University Frankfurt set a new limit for the maximum mass of neutron stars: They cannot exceed 2.16 solar masses.

X-rays reveal chirality in swirling electric vortices

January 16, 2018

Scientists used spiraling X-rays at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to observe, for the first time, a property that gives handedness to swirling electric patterns – dubbed ...

Biologists' new peptide could fight many cancers

January 16, 2018

MIT biologists have designed a new peptide that can disrupt a key protein that many types of cancers, including some forms of lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer, need to survive.

Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice

January 16, 2018

In the winter of 2015/16, something happened that had never before been seen on this scale: at the end of December, temperatures rose above zero degrees Celsius for several days in parts of the Arctic. Temperatures of up ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.