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, probably near the San Andreas Fault.[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 3000 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]

Note: Listed items include earthquakes with epicenters that are offshore or in Baja California, Mexico. Stover & Coffman 1993 use various seismic scales. MLa is a local magnitude (ML) that is based on the area of perceptibility and Mfa is a body wave magnitude. Both are based on isoseismal maps and are used for events that occurred prior to the instrumental period. The values for events that use these equivalents are included in the ML column.

Date PTZ Area (ML) (Ms) (Mw) MMI Deaths Coordinates Comments
1812-12-08 07:00 Wrightwood 6.9 VIII 40 34°22′N 117°39′W / 34.37°N 117.65°W / 34.37; -117.65 [8]
1812-12-21 11:00 Santa Barbara 7.1 VIII 1 34°12′N 119°54′W / 34.2°N 119.9°W / 34.2; -119.9 [8]
1836-06-10 07:30 San Francisco Bay Area 6.8 VIII 37°48′N 122°12′W / 37.8°N 122.2°W / 37.8; -122.2 [8]
1838-06 San Francisco Bay Area 7.0 VIII 37°36′N 122°24′W / 37.6°N 122.4°W / 37.6; -122.4 [8]
1857-01-09 08:24 ParkfieldWrightwood 7.9 IX 1 35°42′N 120°18′W / 35.7°N 120.3°W / 35.7; -120.3 [8]
1865-10-08 12:46 Santa Cruz Mountains 6.3 VIII 37°12′N 121°54′W / 37.2°N 121.9°W / 37.2; -121.9 [9]
1868-10-21 07:53 San Francisco Bay Area 6.8 VIII 30 37°42′N 122°06′W / 37.7°N 122.1°W / 37.7; -122.1 [9]
1872-03-26 02:30 Owens Valley 7.8 X 27 36°42′N 118°06′W / 36.7°N 118.1°W / 36.7; -118.1 [10]
1892-02-23 23:20 Imperial Valley 7.8 VIII 32°33′N 115°38′W / 32.55°N 115.63°W / 32.55; -115.63 [11]
1892-04-19 02:50 Vacaville 6.4 IX 1 38°24′N 122°00′W / 38.4°N 122.0°W / 38.4; -122.0 Doublet [12]
1892-04-21 09:43 Winters 6.2 IX 38°30′N 121°54′W / 38.5°N 121.9°W / 38.5; -121.9 Doublet [12]
1899-12-25 04:25 San Jacinto 6.7 IX 6 33°48′N 117°00′W / 33.8°N 117.0°W / 33.8; -117.0 [13]
1906-04-18 05:12 San Francisco 7.7 XI 3,000 37°40′N 122°29′W / 37.67°N 122.48°W / 37.67; -122.48 Tsunami [14]
1915-06-22 19:59 Imperial Valley 5.5 VIII 6 32°48′N 115°30′W / 32.8°N 115.50°W / 32.8; -115.50 Doublet [15]
1915-06-22 20:56 Imperial Valley 5.5 VIII 32°48′N 115°30′W / 32.8°N 115.50°W / 32.8; -115.50 Doublet [15]
1915-11-20 16:42 Baja California 6.9 IX 32°00′N 115°00′W / 32.0°N 115.0°W / 32.0; -115.0 [16]
1918-04-21 14:32 San Jacinto 6.7 IX 1 33°45′N 117°00′W / 33.75°N 117.0°W / 33.75; -117.0 [17]
1920-06-21 18:47 Inglewood 4.9 VIII 34°00′N 118°30′W / 34.0°N 118.5°W / 34.0; -118.5 [18]
1922-01-31 05:17 Cape Mendocino 7.3 V 40°42′N 125°33′W / 40.7°N 125.55°W / 40.7; -125.55 [19]
1923-01-22 01:04 Cape Mendocino 7.2 VIII 40°30′N 124°30′W / 40.5°N 124.5°W / 40.5; -124.5 [20]
1925-06-29 06:42 Santa Barbara 6.8 IX 13 34°18′N 119°48′W / 34.30°N 119.80°W / 34.30; -119.80 [21]
1927-01-01 00:16 Imperial Valley 5.8 VIII 32°30′N 115°30′W / 32.5°N 115.5°W / 32.5; -115.5 Doublet [22]
1927-01-01 01:13 Imperial Valley 5.5 VIII 32°30′N 115°30′W / 32.5°N 115.5°W / 32.5; -115.5 Doublet [22]
1927-11-04 06:50 Point Arguello 7.3 VIII 34°42′N 120°48′W / 34.7°N 120.8°W / 34.7; -120.8 Tsunami [23]
1932-06-06 00:44 Cape Mendocino 6.4 VIII 1 40°45′N 124°30′W / 40.75°N 124.50°W / 40.75; -124.50 [24]
1933-03-10 17:54 Long Beach 6.3 IX 100–140 33°36′N 118°00′W / 33.6°N 118.0°W / 33.6; -118.0 [25]
1940-05-18 21:36 Imperial Valley 6.9 X 9 32°43′59″N 115°30′00″W / 32.733°N 115.5°W / 32.733; -115.5 [26]
1941-06-30 23:50 Santa Barbara County 5.9 VIII 34°22′N 119°35′W / 34.37°N 119.58°W / 34.37; -119.58 [27]
1948-12-04 15:43 Desert Hot Springs 6.0 VII 33°56′N 116°23′W / 33.93°N 116.38°W / 33.93; -116.38 [28]
1952-07-21 04:52 Kern County 7.5 XI 12 35°00′N 119°01′W / 35.00°N 119.02°W / 35.00; -119.02 [29]
1952-08-22 14:41 Kern County 5.8 VIII 2 35°20′N 118°55′W / 35.33°N 118.92°W / 35.33; -118.92 [30]
1954-12-21 11:56 Cape Mendocino 6.5 VII 1 40°47′N 124°10′W / 40.78°N 124.17°W / 40.78; -124.17 [31]
1957-03-22 11:44 San Francisco Bay Area 5.3 VII 1 37°40′N 122°29′W / 37.67°N 122.48°W / 37.67; -122.48 [32]
1968-04-08 19:28 Ocotillo Wells 6.5 VII 33°11′N 116°08′W / 33.19°N 116.13°W / 33.19; -116.13 [33]
1969-10-01 20:56 Santa Rosa 5.6 VIII 1 38°28′N 122°41′W / 38.47°N 122.69°W / 38.47; -122.69 Doublet [34]
1969-10-01 22:19 Santa Rosa 5.7 VIII 38°28′N 122°41′W / 38.46°N 122.69°W / 38.46; -122.69 Doublet [34]
1971-02-09 06:01 San Fernando 6.5–6.7 65 34°24′N 118°24′W / 34.4°N 118.4°W / 34.4; -118.4 [35][36]
1978-08-13 15:54 Santa Barbara County 5.8 VII 34°24′N 119°42′W / 34.4°N 119.7°W / 34.4; -119.7 [37]
1979-08-06 10:05 Santa Clara County 5.8 VII 37°06′N 122°30′W / 37.1°N 122.5°W / 37.1; -122.5 [38]
1979-10-15 16:16 Imperial Valley 6.5 IX 32°38′N 115°19′W / 32.63°N 115.32°W / 32.63; -115.32 [39]
1980-01-24 11:00 Livermore 5.8 VII 37°52′N 121°49′W / 37.86°N 121.82°W / 37.86; -121.82 [40]
1980-05-25 09:33 Mammoth Lakes 6.2 VII 37°35′N 118°51′W / 37.59°N 118.85°W / 37.59; -118.85 Swarm [41]
1980-05-25 12:44 Mammoth Lakes 5.9 VII 37°33′N 118°50′W / 37.55°N 118.84°W / 37.55; -118.84 Swarm [41]
1980-05-27 07:50 Mammoth Lakes 5.8 VI 37°29′N 118°50′W / 37.49°N 118.83°W / 37.49; -118.83 Swarm [41]
1980-11-08 02:27 Cape Mendocino 7.2 VII 41°07′N 124°15′W / 41.12°N 124.25°W / 41.12; -124.25 [42]
1983-05-02 15:42 Coalinga 6.2 VIII 1 36°14′N 120°19′W / 36.23°N 120.31°W / 36.23; -120.31 [43]
1984-04-24 13:15 Santa Clara County 6.2 VIII 37°19′N 121°42′W / 37.32°N 121.7°W / 37.32; -121.7 [44]
1986-07-08 02:20 North Palm Springs 6.2 VII 34°00′N 116°37′W / 34.0°N 116.61°W / 34.0; -116.61 [45]
1986-07-21 07:42 Chalfant Valley 6.3 VI 37°32′N 118°27′W / 37.54°N 118.45°W / 37.54; -118.45 [45]
1987-10-01 07:42 Whittier Narrows 5.9 VIII 8 34°04′N 118°05′W / 34.06°N 118.08°W / 34.06; -118.08 [46]
1987-11-23 17:54 Elmore Desert Ranch 6.1 VI 33°05′N 115°47′W / 33.08°N 115.78°W / 33.08; -115.78 [47]
1987-11-24 05:15 Superstition Hills 6.5 VII 33°01′N 115°50′W / 33.01°N 115.84°W / 33.01; -115.84 [47]
1989-08-08 01:13 Santa Cruz Mountains 5.4 VII 1 37°08′N 121°57′W / 37.13°N 121.95°W / 37.13; -121.95 [48]
1989-10-17 17:04 Santa Cruz Mountains 7.2 IX 63 37°02′N 121°53′W / 37.04°N 121.88°W / 37.04; -121.88 Tsunami [49]
1991-06-28 07:43 Sierra Madre 5.7 VII 1 34°16′N 118°00′W / 34.26°N 118.00°W / 34.26; -118.00 [50]
1992-04-22 21:50 Joshua Tree 6.2 VII 33°58′N 116°19′W / 33.96°N 116.32°W / 33.96; -116.32 [51]
1992-04-25 11:06 Cape Mendocino 7.2 VIII 40°22′N 124°19′W / 40.37°N 124.32°W / 40.37; -124.32 Tsunami [52]
1992-04-26 00:41 Cape Mendocino 6.5 VIII 40°25′N 124°36′W / 40.42°N 124.6°W / 40.42; -124.6 [53]
1992-04-26 04:18 Cape Mendocino 6.7 VIII 40°23′N 124°35′W / 40.38°N 124.58°W / 40.38; -124.58 [54]
1992-06-28 04:57 Landers 7.3 IX 3 34°12′N 116°26′W / 34.2°N 116.44°W / 34.2; -116.44 [55]
1992-06-28 08:05 Big Bear 6.5 VIII 34°12′N 116°50′W / 34.20°N 116.83°W / 34.20; -116.83 [56]
1994-01-17 04:30 Northridge 6.7 IX 60 34°12′N 118°30′W / 34.2°N 118.5°W / 34.2; -118.5 [57]
1999-10-16 02:46 Hector Mine 7.1 VII 34°35′N 116°16′W / 34.59°N 116.27°W / 34.59; -116.27 [58]
2000-09-03 01:36 North Bay 5.0 VII 38°23′N 122°25′W / 38.38°N 122.41°W / 38.38; -122.41 [59]
2003-12-22 11:15 San Simeon 6.6 VIII 2 35°43′N 121°06′W / 35.71°N 121.10°W / 35.71; -121.10 [60]
2007-10-30 20:04 Alum Rock 5.6 VI 37°26′N 121°46′W / 37.43°N 121.77°W / 37.43; -121.77 [61]
2008-07-29 11:42 Chino Hills 5.5 VI 33°57′N 117°46′W / 33.95°N 117.76°W / 33.95; -117.76 [62]
2010-01-09 17:27 Cape Mendocino 6.5 VII 40°39′N 124°41′W / 40.65°N 124.69°W / 40.65; -124.69 [63]
2010-04-04 15:40 Baja California 7.2 VII 2 32°18′N 115°17′W / 32.3°N 115.28°W / 32.3; -115.28 [64]
2014-08-24 03:20 North Bay 6.0 VIII 1 38°13′N 122°19′W / 38.22°N 122.31°W / 38.22; -122.31 [65]

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 e Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 72, 100
  9. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 73, 104
  10. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 73, 105–107
  11. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 74, 110
  12. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 74, 111, 112
  13. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 74, 113
  14. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 75, 114, 115
  15. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 76, 121
  16. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 76, 121
  17. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 76, 122
  18. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 76, 124
  19. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 77, 124
  20. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 77, 125
  21. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 77, 125, 126
  22. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 77, 127
  23. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 77, 128
  24. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 78, 129, 130
  25. ^ Utsu, T. R. (2002), "A List of Deadly Earthquakes in the World: 1500-2000", International Handbook of Earthquake & Engineering Seismology, Part A, Volume 81A (First ed.), Academic Press, p. 705, ISBN 978-0124406520 
  26. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 81, 135, 136
  27. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 82, 136
  28. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 84, 141
  29. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 86, 144
  30. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 87, 146, 147
  31. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 88, 148
  32. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 88, 150
  33. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 91, 154
  34. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 91, 156
  35. ^ ISC (2014), ISC-GEM Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900-2009), Version 1.05, International Seismological Centre 
  36. ^ SCEDC (2013). "Significant Earthquakes and Faults – San Fernando Earthquake". Southern California Earthquake Data Center. 
  37. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 94, 163
  38. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 94, 165, 166
  39. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 94, 166
  40. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 94, 166, 167
  41. ^ a b c Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 95, 168
  42. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 95, 168
  43. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 96, 171–175
  44. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 97, 175
  45. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 97, 177
  46. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 98, 178, 179
  47. ^ a b Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 98, 179, 180
  48. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 99, 180
  49. ^ Stover & Coffman 1993, pp. 99, 180–186
  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. ^ USGS. "M6.5 - offshore Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  54. ^ USGS. "M6.7 - offshore Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  55. ^ USGS. "M7.3 - Southern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  56. ^ USGS. "M6.5 - Southern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  57. ^ USGS. "M6.7 - Greater Los Angeles area, California". United States Geological Survey. 
  58. ^ USGS. "M7.1 - Southern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  59. ^ USGS. "M5.0 - Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  60. ^ USGS. "M6.6 - Central California". United States Geological Survey. 
  61. ^ USGS. "M5.6 - San Francisco Bay area, California". United States Geological Survey. 
  62. ^ USGS. "M5.5 - Greater Los Angeles area, California". United States Geological Survey. 
  63. ^ USGS. "M6.5 - offshore Northern California". United States Geological Survey. 
  64. ^ USGS. "M7.2 - Baja California, Mexico". United States Geological Survey. 
  65. ^ USGS. "M6.0 - 6km NW of American Canyon, California". United States Geological Survey. 
Sources

External links[edit]