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Historical seismicity

January 1, 1992

The North Coast region of California in the vicinity of Cape Mendocino is one of the state's most seismically active areas, accounting for 25 percent of seismic energy release in California during the last 50 years. the region is located in a geologically dynamic are surrounding the Mendocino triple junction where three of the Earth's tectonic plates join together ( see preceding article by Sam Clarke). In the historic past the North Coast has been affected by earthquakes occurring on the San Andreas fault system to the south, the Mendocino fault to the southwest, and intraplate earthquakes within both the Gorda and North American plates. More than sixty of these earthquakes have caused damage since the mid-1800's. Recent studies indicate that California's North Coast is also at risk with respect to very large earthquakes (magnitude >8) originating along the Cascadia subduction zone. Although the subduction zone has not generated great earthquakes in historic time, paleoseismic evidence suggests that such earthquakes have been generated by the subduction zone in the recent prehistoric past. 

Citation Information

Publication Year 1992
Title Historical seismicity
Authors L. Dengler
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earthquakes & Volcanoes (USGS)
Index ID 70162571
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse