11% chance of another huge earthquake in Southern California, scientists say

phys.org | 7/6/2019 | Staff
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The odds that Southern California will experience another earthquake of magnitude 7 or greater in the next week are now nearly 11%, according to preliminary estimates from seismologists.

And the chances that a quake will surpass the 7.1 temblor that struck near Ridgecrest on Friday night are roughly 8% to 9%, said Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones.

Chance - Sequence

"There's about a 1 in 10 chance that we could have another 7 in this sequence," she said.

More likely is that the Owens Valley will experience another temblor of magnitude 6 or greater. The odds of that are slightly greater than 50-50, Jones said. And more quakes of magnitude 5 or greater are a near certainty.

Week - Jones

"It would be extremely unusual if we didn't have another 5" over the coming week, Jones said.

The 7.1 quake on Friday night was about 8 times larger than the 6.4 quake on Thursday morning, said Robert Graves, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena.

Quakes - Days - Shaking - Time

Though such quakes would be more likely to occur in the next few days, the shaking could continue for quite some time.

"A magnitude 7 usually has aftershocks that last for years," Jones said.

Jones - Pattern - Earthquakes - California - Foreshock

Jones said she could not recall a pattern of earthquakes in California where a 6.4 foreshock was followed by a 7.1 event, only to be followed by an even bigger quake.

But that doesn't mean it can't happen, she cautioned.

Sequence - Reason

"It is clearly a very energetic sequence, so there's no reason to think we can't have more large...
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