What are the chances of an earthquake occurring in California?

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  • Bella
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The chances of an earthquake occurring in California are 100%. They happen there daily. You just aren't aware of them.

    According to an expert from the United States Geological Survey, the recent activity is not unusual.

    Geophysicist Dale Grant spoke with CNN and remarked that while it may seem like quakes are getting more frequent, the numbers are about average, historically speaking. What has changed? The quakes are striking more populated areas, which has led to more damage, more deaths, and, as a consequence, far more news coverage. It might seem like we're getting a lot more earthquakes, but they're actually just causing more damage due to where they are striking.”

    The number and magnitude of earthquakes is not increasing. Our ability to detect them is greatly increasing. They are also being reported by the news media more rapidly and covered more widely.

    Earthquakes of the magnitude of the Haiti and Chile quakes happen on the average 2 to 3 times per year.

    "The USGS estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. Many go undetected because they hit remote areas or have very small magnitudes. The NEIC now locates about 50 earthquakes each day, or about 20,000 a year.

    As more and more seismographs are installed in the world, more earthquakes can be and have been located. However, the number of large earthquakes (magnitude 6.0 and greater) has stayed relatively constant.

    A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.

    According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year."

  • 1 decade ago

    Earthquakes occur every single day in CA - so I would say the chances are 100%.

    If you mean a really big quake, like >6, then no one can accurately predict anything about the chances. You can guess, and many people will give you odds, but they are only guesses - some more educated than others - but still a guess.

    A magnitude 8 quake might happen a week from Thursday, or might not happen for 200 years.

  • 1 decade ago

    California has more than a 99% chance of having a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake within the next 30 years but the likelihood of a major quake of magnitude 7.5 or greater in the next 30 years is 46%-and such a quake is most likely to occur in the southern half of the state. this is because California lies on the borderline of the North American tectonic plate and the pacific plate.

    Source(s): my brain
  • 4 years ago

    Watch our words? But you asked the question in the first place. Anyway, yes...California is due for a decent size earthquake along the San Andreas faultline because they haven't had a big one in quite some time. Get earthquake insurance and make sure that your home is well built, built to withstand at least your typical size earthquakes.

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