Forecasting California's earthquakes: What can we expect in the next 30 years?

Fact Sheet 2008-3027
Prepared in cooperation with the California Geological Survey and the Southern California Earthquake Center
By: , and 



In a new comprehensive study, scientists have determined that the chance of having one or more magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquakes in the California area over the next 30 years is greater than 99%. Such quakes can be deadly, as shown by the 1989 magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta and the 1994 magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquakes. The likelihood of at least one even more powerful quake of magnitude 7.5 or greater in the next 30 years is 46%?such a quake is most likely to occur in the southern half of the State. Building codes, earthquake insurance, and emergency planning will be affected by these new results, which highlight the urgency to prepare now for the powerful quakes that are inevitable in California?s future.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Forecasting California's earthquakes: What can we expect in the next 30 years?
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2008-3027
DOI 10.3133/fs20083027
Edition Version 1.0, Supersedes FS 152-99 and 039-03
Year Published 2008
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Hazards Program, Earthquake Science Center
Description 4 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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