Santa Monica Fault Map Released By Geological Survey of California

Santa Monica Fault Map Released By Geological Survey of California

Santa Monica Fault Map Released By Geological Survey of California

Last week, the Geological Survey of California released a report identifying four new and revised earthquake fault lines, including faults running through Santa Monica, Brentwood, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Napa, Vallejo, and West Hollywood.  Maps of the various new fault lines, including the new Santa Monica fault line, are available here.  Most notably, the new maps identify a fault line, pictured above, that originates in West Hollywood and runs west through Beverly Hills, Westwood, Century City, Brentwood, Santa Monica, and the Pacific Palisades.  The maps are now subject to a 90-day review period before being finalized.

The release of this new information could have significant implications for development on or around the fault lines.  New projects that are proposed along the paths of these fault lines will likely require seismic studies prior to approval.  According to the Geological Survey of California, placing buildings along fault lines could potentially result in unseen damage to the foundations of the buildings when the earth moves beneath them.  Similar to Hollywood, where the state provided new maps of fault lines several years ago, this new information will likely intensify debate about the construction of new buildings.

The new Santa Monica fault line is believed to be a slow-moving fault, which produces earthquakes every few thousands years on average.  Its last major earthquake is predicted to have occurred 1,000 to 3,000 years ago and is believed to rupture every 7,000 to 8,000 years.  Of course, it is always possible that an earthquake will occur sooner, or later, than the predicted average.

Currently, the Geological Survey of California seeks public feedback on this new information, with comments due to the State Mining and Geology Board by October 11.

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