Waiting for Mr Big

San Andreas fault
San Andreas fault north of the I-10 freeway. Click picture to enlarge.

Will he? Or won't he?

Some folks in the Coachella Valley are all a-twitter over the prediction by a UCLA seismologist that an earthquake of magnitude 6.4 or greater will occur in the region by 5 September. The thing is, he's been right before — enough times to make one pay attention.

Earthquake prediction is far from an exact science, but last year Vladimir Keilis-Borok got it right for two quakes in central California and Japan. "Establishment" scientists for the most part are skeptical. Nervous Nellies, on the other hand, are laying in water, canned food, candles, and batteries.

I'm not worried, but then, I'll be in Twain Harte for the Labor Day weekend, safely (one presumes) beyond shaking distance.

fault lines in the Coachella Valley
Fault lines in the Palm Springs area.
Click picture to enlarge. See also sidebar.

On the other hand, there is going to be an earthquake here. The valley is riddled with fault lines. The San Andreas fault runs just the other side of the I-10 freeway. Numerous small quakes occur in the region every day. The shake map this morning for the surrounding area shows 80 earthquakes in the last week.

this morning's shake map
Recent earthquake activity. Click map to enlarge.

Stay tuned!