Could a tsunami swamp California?

June 1, 2015

Borderlands-Map-279x300A Southern California geologist is warning of the possibility of a tsunami slamming into Los Angeles and wreaking havoc on California’s coastline. [NBC News]

Mark Legg, the lead author of a newly published study, says offshore faults are capable of generating magnitude-8 earthquakes and triggering tsunamis in the state. The tsunamis may just produce 1 or 2-meter surges, but they could have huge impacts on Southern California’s ports, Legg says.

On Friday, the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface published Legg’s study, which focuses on the seismic potential of the California Continental Borderland region. The Borderland, which includes the Channel Islands, contains several underwater faults that are caused by the Pacific tectonic plate and the North American Plate grinding against one another.

Within the region, Legg focused on the Santa Cruz-Catalina Ridge Fault and Ferrelo Fault, both of which he says are capable of generating magnitude-8 quakes. Legg argues the seismic potential of the area has not been examined carefully and more resources should be devoted to mapping the seafloor.

Other earthquake experts insist the hazard posed by the faults has been sufficiently studied. Additionally, critics are questioning Legg’s timing.

Legg published the study just as the Hollywood film San Andreas was being released. The movie depicts the San Andreas Fault generating a massive earthquake that rips through California.


So who paid this guy to tell us that if a storm surge of 1-2 meters occurs, there would be damage at the ports.

Did congress commission the study after Hollywood released San Andreas? Did Obama order the study after the floor shook in the White House (it was only Michelle walking down the hall)?

Print more grant money and send it this guy’s way.


“more resources should be devoted to mapping the seafloor.”

Aaahaa! there is the money quote


“Tsunami” Sounds like a great title for a new disaster film.


If a tsunami wiped out LA it would be a big improvement.


This is poppycock. California’s faults, both inland and offshore, are ‘slip-strike’ with lateral /sideways movements, not thrust faults like the Cascadia subduction zone west of British Columbia and Washington State.

A big quake naturally could rupture on the faults close here, and cause substantial damage; but a devastating tsunami is highly unlikely.

Rich in MB

I’m more concerned about being killed by an out of control big government than a tidal Wave…. Surfs up bro…


Yeah, or an asteroid the size of Texas could slam into us… I can see the headlines now; “World ends!”, “Women and Minorities suffer the most!”.


One poster said that when they were a kid CA was going to fall into the ocean but we are still here. Similarly, when I was a kid “scientists” were freaking out about an impending ice age…now those same “scientists” are espousing global warming as the biggest threat humanity has ever faced. They are all morons!


Id be more afraid of man made disasters. Like a tsunami caused by North Korea putting a nuke on the ocean floor.


It’s water….we’ll take it!


Right, and maybe then Southern California might stop stealing water from the rest of the state.


By ‘Southern California’ you must mean the Central Valley…alfalfa, rice, almonds, …multi-billion $$$ agri-business in general.


You mean the ag business which uses only around 30% of the water in the state or the environmental issues which use over 50%?

Rich in MB

Ha ha ha….bingo….check and mate.