Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Simulation Shows What Would Happen If Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake Hit California

What would happen in California was hit by the Big One? New 3-D animations of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake scenario are now available to the public.

Fourteen animations can be downloaded from the site in high definition format. The 3-D animations show, from the perspective of a several different Southern California locations, how intensely the ground would shake and shift during a very strong 7.8 earthquake with an epicenter on the southern end of the San Andreas Fault.

The ShakeOut earthquake scenario animations provide a graphic tool for first responders, engineers, decision makers, Southern California residents and other members of the public to understand, visualize and prepare for the devastating effects, even far from the epicenter, of a large, damaging earthquake. The San Andreas Fault has produced earthquakes of this magnitude in the past and could again in the future.

The USGS is also making available new broadcast-quality background interviews and footage of the San Andreas Fault-crossing Cajon Pass, a narrow corridor through the San Gabriel Mountains known as an important "lifeline corridor" where roads, railroads, water and energy pipelines, and electrical and communications infrastructure provide service to millions of residences, businesses, commuters and communities in Southern California. In the ShakeOut earthquake scenario, this narrow corridor would be greatly affected, as the 3-D animations also show.

Animations are available at:

On Nov. 13, a 7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Will Hit SoCal