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Study shakes up scientists' view of San Andreas earthquake risk

Study shakes up scientists' view of San Andreas earthquake riskSouthern California is long overdue for a major earthquake along the San Andreas fault, according to a landmark study of historic seismic activity released Friday.

The study, produced after several years of field studies in the Carrizo Plain area about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, found that earthquakes along the San Andreas fault have occurred far more often than previously believed.

For years, scientists have said major earthquakes occurred every 250 to 450 years along this part of the San Andreas. The new study found big temblors on the fault every 88 years, on average.Southern California is long overdue for a major earthquake along the San Andreas fault, according to a landmark study of historic seismic activity released Friday.

The last massive earthquake on that part of the fault was in 1857, leading scientists to warn that another such temblor is likely in Southern California.

"The next earthquake could be sooner than later," said Lisa Grant Ludwig, a UC Irvine earthquake expert and co-author of the study, which was published online in the journal Geology. "It was thought that we weren't at risk of having another large one any time soon. Well, now, it might be ready to rupture."

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