SDSU Researchers show that the disappearing Salton Sea might explain why the San Andreas fault is overdue for a big earthquake.
The last three hundred years have seen quake quietness on the southern San Andreas Fault, the intersection of the North American and Pacific plates and California’s most perilous seismic hazard. For nearly half a century, researchers have wondered why. Ryley Hill, a PhD student in the Geophysics Joint Doctoral Program between SDSU and UCSD, his supervisor SDSU Assistant Professor Matt Weingarten, SDSU Professor Tom Rockwell, and colleagues show in a new paper in the journal Nature that this dry spell of seismic activity may be from the shrinking of ancient Lake Cahuilla, a water body that exists today only as the lingering Salton Sea. Ryley and his team’s research provides insight into future earthquake triggers as well as plans aimed to restore and refill the Salton Sea. Read some of the extensive media coverage here: