Friday, November 21, 2008

How a San Andreas rupture will affect Arizona

ASU geology professor Ramon Arrowsmith responded to the Southern Calif. ShakeOut drill last week, with some insights on how a rupture of the southern San Andreas fault could affect Arizona:

"Firstly, it would probably be felt lightly to strongly throughout western and central Arizona. Secondly, the rupture will start along the Salton Sea near Bombay Beach and rupture northwest, past Indio into and through the San Bernardino Mountains. Thus, it will likely sever or damage for days or longer most physical connections to Southwestern California from Arizona. These include: aqueducts, Interstate Highways 10 and 15, rail lines, fiber optic communication lines, oil and gas pipelines, and electrical transmission lines. The damage will be greatest for these connections near Indio and in the San Gorgonio Pass. Thirdly, and most importantly, it will be a regional catastrophe which will significantly disrupt business and social connections. Arizonans will be called on to help our friends and relatives there."

Ramon is a member of the Southern California Earthquake Center, which is doing the most sophisticated modeling of regional fault behavior.

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