Rose Canyon Fault

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Rose Canyon Fault Map

The Rose Canyon Fault is a right-lateral strike-slip fault running in a north-south direction through San Diego County, California.[1] It has only become a concern in the 20th-century, as the region where the fault is located has not been substantially populated.


The Rose Canyon Fault is about 30 km (19 mi) in length. It starts in the Mission Valley area and heads past Mt. Soledad and La Jolla into the Pacific ocean where it joins other faults such as the Oceanside Fault.[2]

Current state[edit]

Not much is known about the Rose Canyon fault, though its slip-rate is thought to be 1.1 mm/year.[1]

The Rose Canyon Fault has sustained at least one late Holocene rupture, with the date of the earthquake estimated to be after AD 1450 and most likely prior to construction of the San Diego Mission in 1769, as a large historical Rose Canyon earthquake would likely have destroyed that mission.[3]

The Rose Canyon Fault has garnered more attention because it runs through such highly populated areas, but is not thought to be much of a threat. However, some geophysicists, such as Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher Jeff Babcock, have hypothesized that a concentrated earthquake involving the Rose Canyon, Oceanside, and Newport–Inglewood faults could result in an earthquake up to magnitude 7.6 on the moment magnitude scale.[2]


  1. ^ a b Hart, E.W., Bryant, W.A., Wills, C.J., Treiman, J.A., and Kahle, J.E., "Summary Report: Fault Evaluation Program, 1987-1988, Southwestern Basin and Range Region and Supplemental Areas. Depart of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology Open-File Report", 1989, "[1]" March 2, 2010
  2. ^ a b Monroe, Robert, "Finding Faults", 2002, "[2]" March 2, 2010
  3. ^ Southern California Edison, Paleoseismic Assessment of the Late Holocene Rupture History of the Rose Canyon Fault in San Diego, December, 2012 "[3]"

External links[edit]