Future Seismic Hazards in southern California: Phase I: Implications of the 1992 Landers Earthquake Sequence

TitleFuture Seismic Hazards in southern California: Phase I: Implications of the 1992 Landers Earthquake Sequence
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsAgnew DC, Aki K, Cornell C A, Davis JF, Flores P, Heaton T, Idriss IM, Jackson DD, McNally KC, Reichle MS, Savage JC, Sieh KE
Series TitleCalifornia Division of Mines and Geology, Sacramento, CA
Abstract

Southern California and its seismologists received a wake-up call on June 28, 1992. The largest earthquake to strike southern California in 40 years occurred near the town of Landers, located 30 km north of the San Andreas fault. It had a magnitude of 7.5 (M7.5). Three and one-half hours later, a M6.5 aftershock struck the Big Bear area 40 km (kilometers) to the west of Landers. An ad hoc working group was rapidly convened in July, 1992, to evaluate how the Landers-Big Bear earthquake sequence might affect future large earthquakes along major faults in southern California. In particular, what are the chances of large earthquakes in the next few years and how do they compare to previous estimates (such as those of the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities -- WGCEP, 1988)? Such an evaluation was made for central California after the Lorna Prieta earthquake of 1989 (WGCEP, 1990). The charge to the Landers ad hoc working group included analyzing the seismicity for the last several years in southern California and the new paleoseismic, geologic, and geodetic data recently available for southern California. To inform the public about the potential hazard of plausible earthquakes, the working group was also asked to map the predicted severity of ground shaking for such earthquakes compared to that from the Landers earthquake.