California neotectonics to be examined


  • Susan Bush


Research in neotectonics, the study of active faulting or recent fault activity up to 10,000 years ago, has been increasing over the past 10 years. The study of neotectonics in the Los Angeles, Calif., area gives an idea of seismic potential and hazards on faults buried in the Los Angeles Basin, said Charles Rubin of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. Rubin, with James Dolan of the Caltech Seismology Laboratory, is convening the poster session, “California Neotectonics,” to be held at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

According to Dolan, there has been an explosion of knowledge of seismic hazards in the last year or two. He attributes this to the existence of the Southern California Earthquake Center, one of the first National Science Foundation science centers in the United States, now in its second year of a 5-year project. About 100 researchers from different disciplines, including geology, geodesy, seismology, and engineering, are working on the same problem of understanding and profiling seismic activity in California. Most of the posters at the AGU session reflect work done through the SCEC project.