Skip to main content
Geosciences LibreTexts

5.7.12: The 1990 Probability Forecast

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)


    The Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities went back to the drawing boards and a new probability estimate was issued in 1990, one year after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Like the earlier estimate, this one was based on the history and slip rate of individual faults, but unlike the earlier estimates, it gave a small amount of weight to interactions among faults. The southern Santa Cruz Mountains segment of the San Andreas Fault, which ruptured in 1989, was assigned a low probability of an earthquake of M greater than 7 in the next thirty years. The North Coast segment of the San Andreas Fault also was given a low probability, even though at the time of the forecast, it had been eighty-four years since the great 1906 earthquake on that segment. The mean recurrence interval on this segment is two to three centuries, and it is still fairly early in its cycle. On the other hand, probabilities on the Rodgers Creek-Hayward Fault in the East Bay Area, including the cities of Oakland and Berkeley, were raised to almost thirty percent in the next thirty years, about one chance in three.

    5.7.12: The 1990 Probability Forecast is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Robert S. Yeats (Open Oregon State) via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.