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Press Releases

ARkStorm: California’s other ‘Big One’

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For emergency planning purposes, scientists unveiled a hypothetical California scenario that describes a storm that could produce up to 10 feet of rain, cause extensive flooding (in many cases overwhelming the state’s […]

Road header breaking through at Devil's Slide Tunnel
Project Related

Devil’s Slide Breakthrough Video and Links

Road header breaking through at Devil's Slide Tunnel The “breakthrough” media event for CALTRANS’ Devil’s Slide Tunnel project was this past Friday.  A large crowd of politicians, news crews and locals were on hand as a road-header broke through a shotcrete face in a ceremony to mark the completion of the excavation portion of the first of two tunnels.  It will still be over a year until the tunnels are opened to traffic.  The second tunnel is expected to breakthrough as early as this week. (Photo by

Caltrans tunnel punch-through from Barry Parr on Vimeo.

The Video came from the Coastsider, the page also has comments from the videographer, Barry Parr, which offer a good perspective on the event.

Click on through for more links etc.


Inside the Devil's Slide tunnel construction, by kxyoung on Flickr
Project Related

Flickr: kxyoung’s stuff tagged with devilsslide

These are some really fantastic photos of the Devil’s Slide tunnel construction. For those who aren’t familiar, the tunnels will be bypassing a particularly landslide and rockslide-prone portion of the California Coast that is currently […]

Geologic Hazards

What Would a Large Earthquake Do to Downtown L.A.?

USGS LogoFrom the USGS Newsroom:

USGS scientist Ken Hudnut fills us in on how science created the theoretical magnitude 7.8 earthquake behind the Great Southern California ShakeOut—the largest earthquake preparedness drill in U.S. history, coming Nov. 13—and what such an earthquake would do to downtown Los Angeles.

Seems like they did it right wiith this study. They had multiple teams independenlty come up with the ground shaking model, then had different structural engineers who are experts in seismic design of large buildings review the tall buildings in the L.A. area for the design earthquake. They say that buildings would likely come down in the 7.8 magnitude event. Click through to watch the video interview from the USGS.



Press Releases

New Study Shows Odds High for Big California Quakes

Released: 4/14/2008 12:02:15 PM

California has more than a 99% chance of having a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake within the next 30 years, according scientists using a new model to determine the probability of big quakes.

The likelihood of a major quake of magnitude 7.5 or greater in the next 30 years is 46%-and such a quake is most likely to occur in the southern half of the state.

[Editor] At Left: Figure 1. The colors on this California map represent the UCERF probabilities of having a nearby earthquake rupture (within 3 or 4 miles) of magnitude 6.7 or larger in the next 30 years. As shown in the table, the chance of having such an event somewhere in California exceeds 99%. The 30-year probability of an even more powerful quake of magnitude 7.5 or larger is about 46%. [/Editor]


Geologic Hazards

Landslide Blocks Road in LA, Inconveniences UCLA Hoops Fans

Mud and debris from a small landslide closed a portion of Sepulveda Blvrd. In Westwood California on Thursday. The slide took out at  least one local resident’s backyard and was large enough to block several lanes of the roadway with debris up to 6-ft high in addition to knocking out several power poles and disrupting service. The material was cleared up by 10pm but not before it cause some inconvenience to UCLA basketball fans on their way to watch their team beat Stanford. The LA Times reports that there were questions about possible broken water lines, of course it is the old "chicken or the egg" argument that’s been seen before (including on a recent landslide) about whether the broken water lines contributed to the landslide, or the landslide caused the water line breaks. (Photo by Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)