Pedro Miguel Fault
Both faults are active, cause earthquakes every 600 to 900 years, and could cause ground slippage of up to 9.8 feet (3.0 m). An earthquake in 1882 caused a regional tsunami. A team of seismologists led by Tom Rockwell of San Diego State University found evidence suggesting both faults slipped simultaneously around 700 CE.
Potential consequences of an earthquake
The Pedro Miguel and the Limón Fault system are a concern for geologists, as a strong earthquake centered on either could damage the canal, drain the lake that supplies water for the operation of its locks, Lago Gatun, and cause severe damage in the capital.
- Larry O'Hanlon, "Quake risk threatens Panama Canal and City: Two large earthquake faults could expose area to serious shaking,", Discovery News, MSNBC, November 22, 2010.
- Andy Coghlan, "Panama canal is due a big earthquake," Environment, New Scientist, November 18, 2010, revised November 25, 2010.
- Thomas Rockwell, et al. "Neotectonics and Paleoseismology of the Limón and Pedro Miguel Faults in Panamá: Earthquake Hazard to the Panamá Canal." Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 100.6, December 2010. Online abstract.
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