List of earthquakes in California

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Probabilistic seismic hazard map

Earthquakes in California are common occurrences since the state is located on the San Andreas Fault, which cuts across California and forms the tectonic plate boundary between the Pacific and the North American Plate. There are many thousands of small earthquakes per year, most of them so small that they are not felt. California's complex landscape can be attributed to the network of faults that run through the state. The earliest reported earthquake in California was felt in 1769 by the Portola expedition about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles.[1][2]

Summary[edit]

California has numerous active faults throughout the state which are known to produce large earthquakes. The most active of these is the San Jacinto Fault Zone in Southern California, which has produced large events on a regular basis throughout recent history. The Mendocino Triple Junction located offshore of Northern California is also very active, producing many earthquakes above M6 throughout history.[3] Northern California is also subject to megathrust earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone (extending north from Mendocino), such as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake, magnitude of approximately 9. The town of Parkfield in central California is located on a section of the San Andreas Fault that produces an earthquake of about M6 every 20–30 years on average in 1857, 1881, 1901, 1922, 1934, 1966 and 2004.[4]

The largest recorded earthquake in California was the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.9. This earthquake ruptured the San Andreas Fault from Parkfield to Wrightwood, a distance of 225 miles (350 km). The most destructive earthquake to date was the 7.8 magnitude 1906 San Francisco earthquake, when more than 3,000 people perished in the earthquake and the fires that followed. The 1906 quake ruptured the northern segment of the San Andreas Fault for 296 miles (477 km), from San Juan Bautista to near Cape Mendocino in the north.[5] More recently, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which registered 6.9 and affected the San Francisco Bay Area,[6] and the 1994 Northridge earthquake which registered 6.7 and hit the Greater Los Angeles Area,[7] caused widespread damage and deaths in their respective regions.

Earthquakes[edit]

Date Area Coordinates M MMI Deaths Injuries Comments
1812-12-08 Inland Empire 34°22′N 117°39′W / 34.37°N 117.65°W / 34.37; -117.65 6.9 MLa VIII 40 [8]
1812-12-21 Central Coast 34°12′N 119°54′W / 34.2°N 119.9°W / 34.2; -119.9 7.1 MLa VIII 1 [8]
1836-06-10 Bay Area 37°48′N 122°12′W / 37.8°N 122.2°W / 37.8; -122.2 6.8 MLa VIII N/A [8]
1838-06 Bay Area 37°36′N 122°24′W / 37.6°N 122.4°W / 37.6; -122.4 7.0 MLa VIII N/A [8]
1857-01-09 CentralSouthern 35°42′N 120°18′W / 35.7°N 120.3°W / 35.7; -120.3 7.9 Mw IX 1 [9]
1865-10-08 Santa Cruz Mountains 37°12′N 121°54′W / 37.2°N 121.9°W / 37.2; -121.9 6.3 MLa VIII N/A [10]
1868-10-21 Bay Area 37°42′N 122°06′W / 37.7°N 122.1°W / 37.7; -122.1 6.8 MLa VIII 30 [10]
1872-03-26 Eastern 36°42′N 118°06′W / 36.7°N 118.1°W / 36.7; -118.1 7.8 Mw X 27 56 [11]
1892-02-23 Baja California 32°33′N 115°38′W / 32.55°N 115.63°W / 32.55; -115.63 7.8 Mw VIII N/A [12]
1892-04-19 North Bay 38°24′N 122°00′W / 38.4°N 122.0°W / 38.4; -122.0 6.4 MLa IX 1 Doublet [13]
1892-04-21 Central Valley 38°30′N 121°54′W / 38.5°N 121.9°W / 38.5; -121.9 6.2 MLa IX N/A Doublet [13]
1899-12-25 Inland Empire 33°48′N 117°00′W / 33.8°N 117.0°W / 33.8; -117.0 6.7 Mw IX 6 [14]
1906-04-18 NorthernCentral 37°40′N 122°29′W / 37.67°N 122.48°W / 37.67; -122.48 7.7 Mw XI 3000 Tsunami [15][16]
1915-06-22 Imperial Valley 32°48′N 115°30′W / 32.8°N 115.50°W / 32.8; -115.50 5.5 Mw VIII 6 Doublet [17]
1915-06-22 Imperial Valley 32°48′N 115°30′W / 32.8°N 115.50°W / 32.8; -115.50 5.5 Mw VIII N/A Doublet [17]
1918-04-21 Inland Empire 33°45′N 117°00′W / 33.75°N 117.0°W / 33.75; -117.0 6.7 Mw IX 1 [18]
1920-06-21 Los Angeles Area 34°00′N 118°30′W / 34.0°N 118.5°W / 34.0; -118.5 4.9 ML VIII N/A [19]
1923-01-22 Cape Mendocino 40°30′N 124°30′W / 40.5°N 124.5°W / 40.5; -124.5 7.2 Ms VIII N/A [20]
1925-06-29 Central Coast 34°18′N 119°48′W / 34.30°N 119.80°W / 34.30; -119.80 6.8 Mw IX 13 [21]
1927-11-04 Central Coast 34°42′N 120°48′W / 34.7°N 120.8°W / 34.7; -120.8 7.3 Mw VIII N/A Tsunami [22][23]
1932-06-06 Cape Mendocino 40°45′N 124°30′W / 40.75°N 124.50°W / 40.75; -124.50 6.4 Ms VIII 1 [24]
1933-03-10 Los Angeles Area 33°37′N 117°58′W / 33.62°N 117.97°W / 33.62; -117.97 6.2 Mw VIII 115 [25]
1940-05-18 Imperial Valley 32°43′59″N 115°30′00″W / 32.733°N 115.5°W / 32.733; -115.5 6.9 Mw X 9 20 [26]
1948-12-04 Inland Empire 33°56′N 116°23′W / 33.93°N 116.38°W / 33.93; -116.38 6.0 Mw VII N/A Several [27]
1952-07-21 Central Valley 35°00′N 119°01′W / 35.00°N 119.02°W / 35.00; -119.02 7.5 Ms XI 12 Hundreds [28]
1952-08-22 Central Valley 35°20′N 118°55′W / 35.33°N 118.92°W / 35.33; -118.92 5.8 Ms VIII 2 Several [29]
1954-12-21 Cape Mendocino 40°47′N 124°10′W / 40.78°N 124.17°W / 40.78; -124.17 6.5 ML VII 1 [30]
1957-03-22 Bay Area 37°40′N 122°29′W / 37.67°N 122.48°W / 37.67; -122.48 5.3 ML VII 1 40 [31]
1968-04-08 Imperial Valley 33°11′N 116°08′W / 33.19°N 116.13°W / 33.19; -116.13 6.5 Mw VII N/A [32]
1969-10-01 North Bay 38°28′N 122°41′W / 38.47°N 122.69°W / 38.47; -122.69 5.6 ML VIII 1 Doublet [33]
1969-10-01 North Bay 38°28′N 122°41′W / 38.46°N 122.69°W / 38.46; -122.69 5.7 ML VIII N/A Doublet [33]
1971-02-09 Los Angeles Area 34°24′N 118°24′W / 34.4°N 118.4°W / 34.4; -118.4 6.5–6.7 Mw XI 65 2,000 [34][35]
1978-08-13 Central Coast 34°24′N 119°42′W / 34.4°N 119.7°W / 34.4; -119.7 5.8 Mw VII N/A [36]
1979-08-06 South Bay 37°06′N 121°30′W / 37.1°N 121.5°W / 37.1; -121.5 5.8 Mw VII N/A 16 [37]
1979-10-15 Imperial Valley 32°38′N 115°19′W / 32.63°N 115.32°W / 32.63; -115.32 6.5 Mw IX N/A 91 [38]
1980-01-24 East Bay 37°52′N 121°49′W / 37.86°N 121.82°W / 37.86; -121.82 5.8 Mw VII N/A Doublet [39]
1980-01-26 East Bay 37°44′N 121°44′W / 37.74°N 121.74°W / 37.74; -121.74 5.4 Mw VII N/A Doublet [40]
1980-05-25 Eastern 37°35′N 118°51′W / 37.59°N 118.85°W / 37.59; -118.85 6.2 Mw VII N/A Swarm [41]
1980-05-25 Eastern 37°33′N 118°50′W / 37.55°N 118.84°W / 37.55; -118.84 5.9 Mw VII N/A Swarm [41]
1980-05-27 Eastern 37°29′N 118°50′W / 37.49°N 118.83°W / 37.49; -118.83 5.8 Mw VI N/A Swarm [41]
1980-11-08 Cape Mendocino 41°07′N 124°15′W / 41.12°N 124.25°W / 41.12; -124.25 7.2 Mw VII N/A 6 [41]
1983-05-02 Central Valley 36°14′N 120°19′W / 36.23°N 120.31°W / 36.23; -120.31 6.2 Mw VIII 1 94 [42]
1984-04-24 South Bay 37°19′N 121°42′W / 37.32°N 121.7°W / 37.32; -121.7 6.2 Mw VIII N/A 21–27 [43]
1986-07-08 Inland Empire 34°00′N 116°37′W / 34.0°N 116.61°W / 34.0; -116.61 6.2 Mw VII N/A 29–40 [44]
1986-07-21 Eastern 37°32′N 118°27′W / 37.54°N 118.45°W / 37.54; -118.45 6.3 Mw VI N/A 2 [44]
1987-10-01 Los Angeles Area 34°04′N 118°05′W / 34.06°N 118.08°W / 34.06; -118.08 5.9 Mw VIII 8 Several hundred [45]
1987-11-23 Imperial Valley 33°05′N 115°47′W / 33.08°N 115.78°W / 33.08; -115.78 6.1 Mw VI N/A [46]
1987-11-24 Imperial Valley 33°01′N 115°50′W / 33.01°N 115.84°W / 33.01; -115.84 6.5 Mw VII N/A Triggered [46]
1989-08-08 Santa Cruz Mountains 37°08′N 121°57′W / 37.13°N 121.95°W / 37.13; -121.95 5.4 ML VII 1 [47]
1989-10-17 Santa Cruz Mountains 37°02′N 121°53′W / 37.04°N 121.88°W / 37.04; -121.88 7.2 Mw IX 63 3,757 Tsunami [48][49]
1991-06-28 Los Angeles Area 34°16′N 118°00′W / 34.26°N 118.00°W / 34.26; -118.00 5.7 Mw VII 1 [50]
1992-04-22 Inland Empire 33°58′N 116°19′W / 33.96°N 116.32°W / 33.96; -116.32 6.2 Mw VII N/A [51]
1992-04-25 Cape Mendocino 40°22′N 124°19′W / 40.37°N 124.32°W / 40.37; -124.32 7.2 Mw VIII N/A 356 Tsunami [52][53]
1992-04-26 Cape Mendocino 40°25′N 124°36′W / 40.42°N 124.6°W / 40.42; -124.6 6.5 Mw VIII N/A Triggered [54]
1992-04-26 Cape Mendocino 40°23′N 124°35′W / 40.38°N 124.58°W / 40.38; -124.58 6.7 Mw VIII N/A Triggered [55]
1992-06-28 Inland Empire 34°12′N 116°26′W / 34.2°N 116.44°W / 34.2; -116.44 7.3 Mw IX 3 400+ [56]
1992-06-28 Inland Empire 34°12′N 116°50′W / 34.20°N 116.83°W / 34.20; -116.83 6.5 Mw VIII N/A Triggered [57]
1994-01-17 Los Angeles Area 34°12′N 118°30′W / 34.2°N 118.5°W / 34.2; -118.5 6.7 Mw IX 60 8,700+ [58]
1999-10-16 Eastern 34°35′N 116°16′W / 34.59°N 116.27°W / 34.59; -116.27 7.1 Mw VII N/A [59]
2000-09-03 North Bay 38°23′N 122°25′W / 38.38°N 122.41°W / 38.38; -122.41 5.0 Mw VII N/A [60]
2003-12-22 Central Coast 35°43′N 121°06′W / 35.71°N 121.10°W / 35.71; -121.10 6.6 Mw VIII 2 [61]
2007-10-30 South Bay 37°26′N 121°46′W / 37.43°N 121.77°W / 37.43; -121.77 5.6 Mw VI N/A [62]
2008-07-29 Los Angeles Area 33°57′N 117°46′W / 33.95°N 117.76°W / 33.95; -117.76 5.5 Mw VI N/A 8 [63]
2010-01-09 Cape Mendocino 40°39′N 124°41′W / 40.65°N 124.69°W / 40.65; -124.69 6.5 Mw VII N/A [64]
2010-04-04 Baja California 32°18′N 115°17′W / 32.3°N 115.28°W / 32.3; -115.28 7.2 Mw VII 2 [65]
2014-08-24 North Bay 38°13′N 122°19′W / 38.22°N 122.31°W / 38.22; -122.31 6.0 Mw VIII 1 ~200 [66]
Note: Stover & Coffman 1993 uses various seismic scales. MLa is a local magnitude (equivalent to ML) for events that occurred prior to the instrumental period and is based on the area of perceptibility (as presented on isoseismal maps). The list includes events that occurred offshore or in Baja California, Mexico.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Earthquake History for California". Info from USGS. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  2. ^ "Earthquake Facts". data from USGS. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  3. ^ Mendocino Triple Junction Offshore Northern California
  4. ^ The Parkfield, California, Earthquake Experiment USGS
  5. ^ The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake USGS
  6. ^ "October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake". data from USGS. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  7. ^ "January 17, 1994 Northridge, CA Earthquake". Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  8. ^ a b c d Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 72, 100
  9. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 72, 101, 102
  10. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 73, 104
  11. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 73, 105–107
  12. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 74, 110
  13. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 74, 111, 112
  14. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 74, 113
  15. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 75, 114, 115
  16. ^ Lander, Lockridge & Kozuch 1993, pp. 60, 61
  17. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 76, 121
  18. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 76, 122
  19. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 76, 124
  20. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 77, 125
  21. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 77, 125, 126
  22. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 77, 128
  23. ^ Lander, Lockridge & Kozuch 1993, pp. 64–66
  24. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 78, 129, 130
  25. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 78, 130, 131
  26. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 81, 135, 136
  27. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 84, 141
  28. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 86, 144
  29. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 87, 146, 147
  30. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 88, 148
  31. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 88, 150
  32. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 91, 154
  33. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 91, 156
  34. ^ ISC (2014), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900-2009), Version 1.05, International Seismological Centre 
  35. ^ SCEDC (2013). "Significant Earthquakes and Faults – San Fernando Earthquake". Southern California Earthquake Data Center. 
  36. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 94, 163
  37. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 94, 165, 166
  38. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 94, 166
  39. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 94, 166, 167
  40. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 95, 166, 167
  41. ^ a b c d Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 95, 168
  42. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 96, 171–175
  43. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 97, 175
  44. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 97, 177
  45. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 98, 178, 179
  46. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 98, 179, 180
  47. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 99, 180
  48. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 99, 180–186
  49. ^ Lander, Lockridge & Kozuch 1993, pp. 115, 116
  50. ^ USGS. "M5.7 - Southern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  51. ^ USGS. "M6.2 - Southern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  52. ^ USGS. "M7.2 - Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  53. ^ Lander, Lockridge & Kozuch 1993, pp. 116–118
  54. ^ USGS. "M6.5 - offshore Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  55. ^ USGS. "M6.7 - offshore Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  56. ^ USGS. "M7.3 - Southern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  57. ^ USGS. "M6.5 - Southern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  58. ^ USGS. "M6.7 - Greater Los Angeles area, California". United States Geological Survey. 
  59. ^ USGS. "M7.1 - Southern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  60. ^ USGS. "M5.0 - Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  61. ^ USGS. "M6.6 - Central California". United States Geological Survey. 
  62. ^ USGS. "M5.6 - San Francisco Bay area, California". United States Geological Survey. 
  63. ^ USGS. "M5.5 - Greater Los Angeles area, California". United States Geological Survey. 
  64. ^ USGS. "M6.5 - offshore Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  65. ^ USGS. "M7.2 - Baja California, Mexico". United States Geological Survey. 
  66. ^ USGS. "M6.0 - 6km NW of American Canyon, California". United States Geological Survey. 
Sources

External links[edit]