Tsunamis threaten to smash Southern California

A new fault zone has been discovered off the coast of Southern California that could rupture and create a massive tsunami, slamming Los Angeles and San Diego with devastating results.

According to a SlashGear report, the geological fractures could result in a rupture that is 100 kilometers long and create an earthquake that would reach 8.0 on the Richter scale, and the resulting sudden shift upwards of the tectonic plate would create huge waves that would hammer Southern California. The study, led by geologist Mark Legg, was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface.

Legg and his colleagues were examining two active transpressional fault zones using high-resolution mapping. They were already aware of the Santa Cruz-Catalina Ridge and Ferrelo faults, but while taking new depth measurements in order to understand changes in the crust of the Earth, they found evidence of multiple segments that could create a massive rupture, which would result in one of the tectonic plates shifting violently upward.

Large earthquakes have happened off the coast before, with 7.0 quakes recorded, so it’s not out of the question to have a strong earthquake.

That doesn’t mean SoCal residents should panic, just that they should realize that the tsunami risk is fairly strong in that part of the world and therefore should be prepared should one occur.

A tsunami is caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, usually caused by earthquakes and other disturbances below the water. A massive earthquake in 2011 caused a devastating tsunami that hammered Japan, and a 2004 earthquake in the Indian Ocean was one of the biggest natural disasters in history.