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Science File | IN BRIEF

South San Andreas Fault Called Ripe for Big One

June 24, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

New earthquake research confirms the southern end of the San Andreas fault near Los Angeles is overdue for a Big One, according to an analysis published in the current issue of the journal Nature.

The lower section of the fault has not produced a major earthquake in more than three centuries.

The new study, which analyzed 20 years of data, found that stress has been building up since then and that the fault could rupture at any moment, said geophysicist Yuri Fialko of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

Predicting exactly when that might happen, however, is beyond scientists' ability.

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