LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A new study is raising concern about a major earthquake hitting Southern California.

Researchers at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography have discovered faults underneath the Salton Sea that they believe could trigger a massive quake.

Some experts say man’s interference with the Colorado River may have set the stage for a major earthquake along the San Andres Fault.

The Colorado River used to feed the Salton Sea until levees were built 100 years ago. Researchers say that man’s interference with the flooding may have stopped the clock on a regular series of big earthquakes, potentially resulting in pressure on fault lines.

Experts say the added pressure and newly-discovered  “step-over” faults could lead to a 7.0 quake or larger, once the San Andreas Fault jolts “back to life” under the Salton Sea.

“The concern is that you could have an earthquake on one of those faults then trigger a bigger earthquake on one of the adjacent faults,” says Caltech professor Joann Stock.

However, Stock says earthquakes are primarily driven by plate tectonics, not interference with water tables.

Visit www.shakeout.org for more information on how you can prepare for Southern California’s next big earthquake.

Comments (12)
  1. cant wait says:

    if only its powerful enough to wipeout los angles. that would be the thing to happen,

    1. CMON says:

      Wow KCAL9, such an in depth report! Who is the dork that got paid to write such a meaningless report. Why don’t you write a report that says, “LA traffic is really bad.” – A study found that if you live in LA, the traffic is really bad.”

  2. Ommy says:

    that would be kool

  3. ted says:

    It will be the return of 2pac!!

  4. Brown&Proud says:

    Ha I’m a lady but glad you agree.(:

  5. Talega says:

    Hopefully, this study will be as accurate as the predictions for the Rapture. There is a saying: Man proposes but God disposes. So far, trying to predict quakes seems to be a pipe dream.

  6. CC says:

    LA will probably be the only place left standing! Hah!

    1. Geologist Mike says:

      Good Luck to the USGS. Congress is considering a Funding cut, so let’s try to scare the public, AGAIN. Remember the Palmdale Budge? Success at earthquake prediction at the Parkfield “Experiment”? Try working on seismic safety of CA Nuclear Plants using USGS dire predictions and discoveries of “new earthquake faults.”

  7. brian says:

    you guys been waning of the big one since I was in diapers here 44 years later it has not happen but when it dose I will pop open the bigest and soldes beer I csan get my hands on and party like a rock star

  8. WARNED says:

    15th year of a 33 year Volcanism is affecting plate tectonics. If you blow hards read this then get prepared this is your warning. If a large quake is coming when do ya think it will hit? The buildup as scientists call it is happening all over the world and getting more acute! All Plates are on the verge. CA is unique because every single worse case scenario will happen and probably at the same time-event! Quakes, Volcanoes, Tsunami, flooding, fires, and more will take place. This isn’t mere speculation and has happened in past. So speak stupid and stay the same or get prepared for the worse and in the knowledge you have a plan.

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