Northridge was as bad as it gets

highway.jpgA new study from the journal Geology from Oregon State University suggests that the magnitude 6.7 earthquakes that struck California’s San Fernando Valley in 1971 and Northridge area in 1994 may have been about the most powerful quakes that this specific area can sustain.

There’s been vast speculation about the largest quake many of the fault zones in the SoCal area are capable of. And it usually can’t be proved wrong until a larger quake comes along and rattles the records. It’s long been stated that the San Andreas Fault could give us a quake up to an 8, which would still bring wide damage to the Los Angeles Basin. But these lesser known fault zones have been a bit of a mystery, and they’re only recently getting the full examination they deserve.

I’m not sure how I feel about this, there are dozens of fault zones in the LA Basin, and even if each is only capable of a 6.5-6.7, it will still mean losses to those closest to the epicenter. Most of us live within a mile of some major or minor fault.

As usual, the best place to get info about current quakes is the USGS. (Image from the USGS.)