Nav: Home

Creeping reduces quake risk on Berkeley fault, say Science authors

August 17, 2000

Washington D.C.--A new model of the northern Hayward Fault in California's San Francisco Bay Area suggests that a major earthquake along that portion of the fault may be less likely than previously suspected, according to a report in the 18 August issue of the journal Science.

The Hayward fault is one of the major branches of the well-known San Andreas Fault System that crisscrosses coastal California. In 1868, a major earthquake of magnitude 7 occurred on the southern portion of the Hayward, rupturing over a distance of 40 to 50 kilometers between the cities of Fremont and Berkeley.

Many scientists have traditionally believed that there is a high probability of a major earthquake on the northern portion of the fault within the next 30 years, potentially endangering lives and property in the area.

But a type of fault motion called aseismic creep, say the Science researchers, may be relieving strain on the northern portion of the fault.

"The likelihood of a large earthquake originating and centering on the northern Hayward fault alone is rather low," says the study's lead author Roland Bürgmann of the University of California, Berkeley.

Fault zone properties like temperature, stress, fluids, and the type of rock help determine whether the adjacent crustal blocks of a fault move past each other in the relatively abrupt, stick-and-slip motion that causes earthquakes, or in a more gradual, smooth motion called aseismic creep. Since at least the turn of the century, the northern Hayward fault has been showing telltale signs along its surface trace--including diverted street curbs, wavering fence lines, and cracked and distorted buildings--of aseismic creep.

These surface creep rates lag behind long-term slip rates for the fault, however, suggesting that the creep only extends for a shallow distance below the surface and that the fault is "locked" at a deeper level below, accumulating strain that would be released in a major earthquake.

To test the extent of aseismic creep on the northern Hayward, Bürgmann and colleagues integrated data from global positioning satellite measurements along the fault with satellite radar data and information from clusters of microearthquakes deep within the fault. The researchers combined these data in a model that correlates surface movements with fault slippage at depth, says Bürgmann, allowing them a 3-D glimpse of the fault zone.

Their analysis revealed a slow and aseismic creep at the bottom as well as the top of the fault zone in the northern part of the Hayward. The seismic scenario that best fits their model, say the Science researchers, is of a Hayward Fault with a split personality: a relatively immobile southern half that is locked at depth, adjacent to a freely-slipping northern segment.

Although the deep creep along the northern Hayward indicates that the possibility of a major earthquake along that portion of the fault should be downgraded, Bürgmann says that these findings do not rule out large earthquakes on neighboring fault segments, like the southern half of the Hayward or the Rodgers Creek fault that lies north of the Hayward fault.

"The studies that have been done clearly suggest significant earthquake hazard from these and other faults in the Bay area," says Bürgmann.

Bürgmann also notes that the lower likelihood of a quake on the northern Hayward has no effect on the collateral damage that might occur in this area from nearby fault events that cause significant shaking.
The other members of the research team are D. Schmidt, R. M. Nadeau, M. d'Alessio, T. V. McEvilly, and M. H. Murray at University of California, Berkeley, E. Fielding at California Institute of Technology, and D. Manaker at University of California, Davis. Funding for this work was supported by grants from the NSF Geophysics program, NASA's Solid Earth and Natural Hazards program, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) NEHRP program.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Data Articles:

Discrimination, lack of diversity, & societal risks of data mining highlighted in big data
A special issue of Big Data presents a series of insightful articles that focus on Big Data and Social and Technical Trade-Offs.
Journal AAS publishes first data description paper: Data collection and sharing
AAS published its first data description paper on June 8, 2017.
73 percent of academics say access to research data helps them in their work; 34 percent do not publish their data
Combining results from bibliometric analyses, a global sample of researcher opinions and case-study interviews, a new report reveals that although the benefits of open research data are well known, in practice, confusion remains within the researcher community around when and how to share research data.
Designing new materials from 'small' data
A Northwestern and Los Alamos team developed a novel workflow combining machine learning and density functional theory calculations to create design guidelines for new materials that exhibit useful electronic properties, such as ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity.
Big data for the universe
Astronomers at Lomonosov Moscow State University in cooperation with their French colleagues and with the help of citizen scientists have released 'The Reference Catalog of galaxy SEDs,' which contains value-added information about 800,000 galaxies.
What to do with the data?
Rapid advances in computing constantly translate into new technologies in our everyday lives.
Why keep the raw data?
The increasingly popular subject of raw diffraction data deposition is examined in a Topical Review in IUCrJ.
Infrastructure data for everyone
How much electricity flows through the grid? When and where?
Finding patterns in corrupted data
A new 'robust' statistical method from MIT enables efficient model fitting with corrupted, high-dimensional data.
Big data for little creatures
A multi-disciplinary team of researchers at UC Riverside has received $3 million from the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship program to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers who will learn how to exploit the power of big data to understand insects.

Related Data Reading:

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (Author)

An Economist Best Book of the Year

A PBS NewsHour Book of the Year

An Entrepeneur Top Business Book

An Amazon Best Book of the Year in Business and Leadership

New York Times Bestseller

Foreword by Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of our Nature

Blending the informed analysis of The Signal and the Noise with the instructive iconoclasm of Think Like a Freak, a fascinating,... View Details

Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems
by Martin Kleppmann (Author)

Data is at the center of many challenges in system design today. Difficult issues need to be figured out, such as scalability, consistency, reliability, efficiency, and maintainability. In addition, we have an overwhelming variety of tools, including relational databases, NoSQL datastores, stream or batch processors, and message brokers. What are the right choices for your application? How do you make sense of all these buzzwords?

In this practical and comprehensive guide, author Martin Kleppmann helps you navigate this diverse landscape by examining the pros and cons of various... View Details

Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals
by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic (Author)

Don't simply show your datatell a story with it!  Storytelling with Data teaches you the fundamentals of data visualization and how to communicate effectively with data. You'll discover the power of storytelling and the way to make data a pivotal point in your story. The lessons in this illuminative text are grounded in theory, but made accessible through numerous real-world examplesready for immediate application to your next graph or presentation. 
Storytelling is not an inherent skill,... View Details

Dear Data
by Giorgia Lupi (Author), Stefanie Posavec (Author), Maria Popova (Foreword)

Equal parts mail art, data visualization, and affectionate correspondence, Dear Data celebrates "the infinitesimal, incomplete, imperfect, yet exquisitely human details of life," in the words of Maria Popova (Brain Pickings), who introduces this charming and graphically powerful book. For one year, Giorgia Lupi, an Italian living in New York, and Stefanie Posavec, an American in London, mapped the particulars of their daily lives as a series of hand-drawn postcards they exchanged via mail weekly—small portraits as full of emotion as they are data, both mundane and magical. Dear... View Details

Data Science for Business: What You Need to Know about Data Mining and Data-Analytic Thinking
by Foster Provost (Author), Tom Fawcett (Author)

Written by renowned data science experts Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett, Data Science for Business introduces the fundamental principles of data science, and walks you through the "data-analytic thinking" necessary for extracting useful knowledge and business value from the data you collect. This guide also helps you understand the many data-mining techniques in use today.

Based on an MBA course Provost has taught at New York University over the past ten years, Data Science for Business provides examples of real-world business problems to illustrate these principles. You’ll... View Details

Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight
by John W. Foreman (Author)

Data Science gets thrown around in the press like it's magic. Major retailers are predicting everything from when their customers are pregnant to when they want a new pair of Chuck Taylors. It's a brave new world where seemingly meaningless data can be transformed into valuable insight to drive smart business decisions.

But how does one exactly do data science? Do you have to hire one of these priests of the dark arts, the "data scientist," to extract this gold from your data? Nope.

Data science is little more than using straight-forward steps to process raw data into... View Details

Data Strategy: How to Profit from a World of Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things
by Bernard Marr (Author)

Less than 0.5 per cent of all data is currently analysed and used. However, business leaders and managers cannot afford to be unconcerned or sceptical about data. Data is revolutionizing the way we work and it is the companies that view data as a strategic asset that will survive and thrive. Bernard Marr's Data Strategy is a must-have guide to creating a robust data strategy. Explaining how to identify your strategic data needs, what methods to use to collect the data and, most importantly, how to translate your data into organizational insights for improved business... View Details

R for Data Science: Import, Tidy, Transform, Visualize, and Model Data
by Hadley Wickham (Author), Garrett Grolemund (Author)

Learn how to use R to turn raw data into insight, knowledge, and understanding. This book introduces you to R, RStudio, and the tidyverse, a collection of R packages designed to work together to make data science fast, fluent, and fun. Suitable for readers with no previous programming experience, R for Data Science is designed to get you doing data science as quickly as possible.

Authors Hadley Wickham and Garrett Grolemund guide you through the steps of importing, wrangling, exploring, and modeling your data and communicating the results. You’ll get a complete, big-picture... View Details

Confident Data Skills: Master the Fundamentals of Working with Data and Supercharge Your Career (Confident Series)
by Kirill Eremenko (Author)

Data science is the most exciting skill you can master. Data has dramatically changed how our world works. From entertainment to politics, from technology to advertising and from science to the business world, data is integral and its only limit is our imagination. If you want to have a vibrant and valuable professional life, being skilled with data is the key to a cutting-edge career. Learning how to work with data may seem intimidating or difficult but with Confident Data Skills you will be able to master the fundamentals and supercharge your professional abilities. This... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2018

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2018. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Peering Deeper Into Space
The past few years have ushered in an explosion of new discoveries about our universe. This hour, TED speakers explore the implications of these advances — and the lingering mysteries of the cosmos. Guests include theoretical physicist Allan Adams, planetary scientist Sara Seager, and astrophysicists Natasha Hurley-Walker and Jedidah Isler.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#461 Adhesives
This week we're discussing glue from two very different times. We speak with Dr. Jianyu Li about his research into a new type of medical adhesive. And Dr. Geeske Langejans explains her work making and investigating Stone Age and Paleolithic glues.