A study at the end of June 2018 made headlines about earthquake hazard on the San Andreas Fault. The research looked at the area covered by the Salton Sea:
According to news reports, geologists found:
. . . a nearly 15.5-mile-long, sheared zone with two, nearly parallel master faults and hundreds of smaller, rung-like cross faults. . . The discovery . . . reveals the southern tip of the San Andreas Fault changes fairly gradually into the ladder-like Brawley Seismic zone. The structure trends northwest, extending from the well-known main trace of the San Andreas Fault along the Salton Sea’s northeastern shore, to the newly identified East Shoreline Fault Zone on the San Andreas’ opposite edge.
. . .
Future earthquakes in that zone or near the San Andreas Fault could potentially trigger a cascade of earthquakes leading to the overdue major quake scientists expect along the southern San Andreas fault zone . . .
So, perhaps it’s good that the “Riviera” scheme never worked out.
While seismologists scramble over the area to learn more about earthquake hazards, the USGS is monitoring the local volcano situation–which includes five vents discovered in 2013–through the California Volcano Observatory.
Again, not a good place for a resort!
Update, March 31, 2021: Recent research suggests that water weight triggered large quakes back when what’s now the Salton Sea was much larger. Perhaps that changed the stress fields somewhat.
Still, experts quoted in the story say that the seismic hazard in this region remains very high.
Featured image: 12019, at Pixabay. Public domain.