Obama Cuts, SoCal shows danger of deadly but little-known San Jacinto fault

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June 10, 2016 – latimes.com and Mary Greeley- Friday’s 5.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the desert southeast of Los Angeles was centered along the San Jacinto fault, which is one of the region’s most active and potentially dangerous fault lines.

In 2015 the seismic network that UC San Diego has long used to monitor the potentially dangerous San Jacinto fault will operate for at least another five years after a private company donated $700,000 to cover the loss of federal funding by billions of dollars under the Obama’s adminastration plan Campaign to Cut Waste, he started in 2012. https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/ccs.pdf

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In 2014, $20 million was cut then in 2015 a additional $12.million was cut. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, National Science Foundation ……….

The university’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography received the donation from Seismic Warning Systems Inc. of Scotts Valley, which provides earthquake detection and warning systems. The company is collaborating with Scripps on improving quake monitoring in Southern California.

Scripps operates the ANZA Seismic Network, which is composed of 28 monitoring stations in San Diego and Riverside counties. The network, which has been operating since 1982, focuses on the San Jacinto fault runs through populated areas including San Bernardino, Colton, Moreno Valley, Redlands, Loma Linda, Hemet and San Jacinto, as well as near Riverside, Rialto and Fontana. The epicenter of Friday’s quake was in a more isolated area near Borrego Springs.

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Experts have been warning for some time that the San Jacinto fault – while less well known than the San Andreas – poses a major threat to the region.

A study released earlier this year said both faults could rupture together in a 7.5-magnitude earthquake.

“Because the San Jacinto fault cuts into the middle of the Inland Empire — instead of the edge of the desert — it cuts through a lot more people. There’s just more people directly living on this fault,” Julian Lozos, a Cal State Northridge professor of geophysics, who wrote the study while working on post-doctoral research at Stanford University and at the U.S. Geological Survey, told The Times in March.

That study looked at whether a massive 1812 quake in Southern California was the result of shaking on both fault lines.

The San Jacinto stretches for 130 miles, from the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County southeast toward the Mexican border.

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Temblors include a magnitude 6.5 quake in April 1968 and a 6.7 shaker in November 1987. The latter quake, known as the Superstition Hills event, jolted San Diego.

The 1987 Superstition Hills earthquakes, which hit about 90 miles east of San Diego, topped out at magnitudes 6.5 and 6.7, and caused $3 million in damage in Imperial County.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a quake on the fault in 1918 caused significant damage and one death in San Jacinto.

Scripps began operating the ANZA network with internal funds in January after federal funding ran out.

“The donation from Seismic Warning Systems keeps us alive,” said Scripps geophysicist Frank Vernon, the network’s lead researcher. “We are very thankful, and are looking forward to doing more good research.”

ANZA is one of many seismic networks spread across the state. The systems include the Southern California Seismic Network, which has expanded over the years with a mix of state, federal and university funds, and contributions from foundations. Scientists are lobbying to modify the system to create an earthquake early warning system.

 
Credit latimes.com and Mary Greeley

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