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It might sound like a conspiracy, that the recent movie San Andreas Fault has recently been released in theaters, and might have predicted California’s tsunami scare. However, what scientists have found in a recent study is not going to play out like the tsunami that hit California in the movie, but Californians should be warned that the state is capable of having one.
There have been many earthquakes happening along the west coast recently up and down the San Andreas Fault, and scientists have recently found that a jumbled sea floor plate, poses as a tsunami threat off the coast of Southern California. Geologist Mark Legg, the studies lead author told sources, “if a tsunami occurred it would not be similar to the San Andreas Fault film, but the threat deserves more attention than it is given.” While other earthquake experts say they have looked at the offshore fault they agree with Legg, that the faults need more studies done upon them than the amount they currently have.
The San Andreas Fault, film predicting the California tsunami, shows that scientists have been spending too much time focusing on the inland plates, and are unaware of what might be occurring in the ocean which is a possible cause of all the recent earthquakes in California to occur. Studies have found that there are several major faults lying along the shore of the west coast.
Latest research has revealed a tectonic wreck in the earths crust that can lead to an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 to 8.0. The new study supports the chances of the vertical fault zone to send out tsunami-generating pulses. Legg, told sources the faults along the coast determines the type of earthquake to occur being a continental collision. Which is when a plate carrying continental crust collides with an oceanic crust. The oceanic crust is then forced down the edge of the continental crust, and will cause two continental crusts collides. During this type of collision mountains are known to be created.
Legg has recently published a research paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, and it explains the underwater seismic region, which is known as the California Continental Borderland. He shares surveys he found of the region show a destroyed tectonic plate of the Pacific Ocean crashed up against the North American plate, and calls it a complicated log-jam.
The research also reflects of data from 2010, which covered over 2,800 miles of fault lines along the ocean floor. When he and his colleagues got a closer look at the ocean fault lines from computer models, the scientists found that movements along the Borderland were vertical, and were large enough to cause tsunami waves as large as 10 feet.
Many would believe a 10 foot wave would look similar to the big-budget film San Andreas Fault tsunami wave, but it would be more devastating than what the producers imagined. The prediction Legg’s research of the California tsunami is not even close to the 2004 tsunami and quake that destroyed Sumatra and the Indian Ocean. Instead the predicted tsunami would be about a one to two surge that would only have a huge impact on the ports that reside along the Pacific coast.
The San Andreas Fault big budget film may have stirred scientists to look deeper into the study of the oceanic plates, but it did not come close enough in describing the type of tsunami that would hit Southern California, if one was to occur. However, the key to surviving a tsunami is not to panic, but always be prepared.
By Krystle Mitchell
NBC News: Tsunami could hit California
CBS News: Tsunami in store for Los Angeles
E Science News: Little quake, tsunami hazards reside off the shore of Southern California
Photo Courtesy of Zalzadore’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License