Active Faults of the World - New book by ECI's Robert Yeats

Written by Administrator on Thursday, 14 February 2013 11:09.

There is an ever-increasing need for a better understanding of regional seismic hazards, particularly in developing parts of the world where major building projects are planned and where there is a huge migration of people to large cities that are at risk from earthquakes. Disasters in recent times, such as the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, are chilling proof of the dangers of building in active fault zones. This book provides the first worldwide survey of active earthquake faults, with a focus on those described as “seismic time bombs,” with the potential to destroy large cities in the developing world such as Port au Prince, Kabul, Tehran, and Caracas. Leading international earthquake expert, Robert Yeats, explores both the regional and plate-tectonic context of active faults around the world, providing the background for seismic hazard evaluation in planning large-scale projects such as nuclear power plants or hydroelectric dams. He also highlights work done in more advanced seismogenic countries such as Japan, the United States, Italy, New Zealand, and China as helpful examples for developing nations, providing an important basis for upgrading building standards and other laws. In addition to providing a valuable technical summary of active fault zones worldwide, the book presents the human side of earthquake science, exploring the impact of major quakes on social development through history, such as the effect of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake on the Age of Enlightenment. It will form an accessible reference for analysts and consulting firms, and a convenient overview for academics and students of geoscience, geotechnical engineering and civil engineering, and land-use planning.




Available in hardcover and as digital download from Cambridge University Press.

ISBN 9780521190855

ECI's Work in the Panama Canal

Written by Administrator on Thursday, 18 November 2010 19:23.

Earth Consultants International has been working in the Panama Canal Zone since 2005, identifying and characterizing the faults that extend through the region, and in the process helping to better define the seismic hazard model for the Panama Canal expansion project.  We summarized the results of several of our field studies in a report published in the December 2010 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (download the Article here).  Our findings indicate that the central Panama area is underlain by several active faults that pose a significant seismic hazard to the canal and Panama City.  We also show that the Pedro Miguel fault is the source of the 1621 earthquake that caused considerable damage to the original capital of Panama.  For additional information regarding our work on the Panama Canal earthquake faults, refer to the following links:

  1. Panama Paleoseismic Studies
  2. Panama Tectonic Geomorphology
  3. Panama Pedro Miguel Fault

Articles in the news that highlight our recent publication include (please note that you will be leaving ECI's website):  

  1. CBC News
  2. Science Daily

For another published report by Earth Consultants on the Pedro Miguel fault and the 1621 earthquake click here (3.2Mb PDF).

The Southern San Jacinto Fault

Written by Admin on Tuesday, 09 February 2010 19:56.

The southern San Jacinto fault (SJF) zone is the most seismically active fault zone in the southern San Andreas fault system, with InSAR studies suggesting that the SJF accommodates 21 out of 45 mm/yr, or 45% of total Pacific-North American plate motion. This is also evidenced by a majority of SJF segments having ruptured historically, producing M6.5 or greater earthquakes, including the Coyote Creek fault, which ruptured in the 1968 magnitude 6.5 Borrego Mountain earthquake. While slip along most of the southern SJF zone is typically partitioned between several well-defined strands, the CCF is the only recognized fault strand conducting slip between multiple strands to its north and south. Thus, the CCF should be carrying a majority of the SJF slip and also be a major seismic hazard to rapidly developing urban growth along its footprint.

Living with Earthquakes

Written by Administrator on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 16:00.

Robert Yeat's book, Living with Earthquakes in California was translated into Japanese and sold quite a few books at a book signing at Hokudan.

It tells the Japanese public how the Californians do it, for which there is a lot of interest.  They have nothing like Alquist-Priolo or the Seismic Hazards Mapping Acts.

Selected Publications

Written by Administrator on Monday, 04 August 2008 12:10.


Anderson, J.G.,Rockwell T.K., and Agnew, D.C., 1989, Past and possible future earthquakes of significance to the San Diego region: Earthquake Spectra, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 299-335.

Barka, A., Akyuz, H.S., Altunel, E., Sunal, G., Cakir, Z., Dikbas, A., Yerli, B., Armijo, R., Meyer, B., Chabalier, J.B.,Rockwell, T., Dolan, J.R., Hartlieb, R., Dawson, T., Christofferson, S., Tucker, A., Fumal, T., Langridge, R., Stenner, H., Lettis, W., Bachhuber, J., and Page, W., 2002, The surface rupture and slip distribution of the 17 August 1999 Izmit earthquake (M7.4), North Anatolian fault: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America,Special Issue on the 1999 Izmit and Duzce, Turkey, Earthquakes, N. Toksoz (editor), Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 43-60.

Barrie, D., Tatnall, T.S., and Gath, E.M., 1992, Neotectonic uplift and ages of Pleistocene marine terraces, San Joaquin Hills, Orange County, California;in Ehlig, P.L. and Steiner, E.A. (editors), Engineering geology field trips: Orange County, Santa Monica Mountains, and Malibu: Association of Engineering Geologists, Southern California Section, 35th Annual Meeting, Guidebook and Volume, pp. A55-A61.

Bausch, D. and Gath, E.M., 2001, The Big One: a quantitative comparison of differing earthquake scenarios on southern California (abstract): Association of Engineering Geologists, 2001 Annual Meeting Program with Abstracts,AEG NEWS, Vol. 444, No. 4, p. 55.

Bausch, D., Gath, E.M., Gonzalez, T., Dolan, J., and Sieh, K., 1992, Application of new developments in seismic hazard assessment, revised Safety Element of the General Plan, City of Santa Monica, California;in Stout, M.L., (editor), Association of Engineering Geologists, Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting, pp. 707-713.

Bausch, D.B., and Gonzalez, T., 1994, Pattern of Damage in the City of Santa Monica from the Mw 6.7 Northridge Earthquake: Seismological Society of America, 89th Annual Meeting, Pasadena, April 5-7, p. 28.

Berberian, M., and Yeats, R.S., 1999, Patterns of historical earthquake rupture in the Iranian Plateau: Seismological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 89, pp. 129-139.

Berberian, M., and Yeats, R.S., 2001, Contributions of archaeological data to studies of earthquake history in the Iranian Plateau: Journal of Structural Geology, Vol. 23, pp. 563-584.

Bilodeau, W.L., Bilodeau, S.W., Gath, E.M., Oborne, M., and Proctor, R.J., 2007, Geology of Los Angeles, California, United States of America: Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, Vol. XIII, No. 2, pp. 99-160.

Bornyasz, M.S., and Rockwell, T., 1997, Towards a multivariant analysis of over 150 dated soils from central California to northern Baja California: Geological Society of America, Cordilleran Section, 93rd Annual Meeting, Kailua-Kona, HI, May 21-23, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 29, No. 5, p. 6.

Bray, J.D., Ashmawy, A., Mukhopadhyay, G., and Gath, E.M., 1993, Use of geosynthetics to mitigate earthquake fault rupture propagation through compacted fill: Industrial Fabrics Association International, Geosynthetics '93 Conference Proceedings, St. Paul, MN, Vol.1, pp. 379-392.

Bryan, K. and Rockwell, T.K., 1994, Recognition of non-brittle fault deformation in trench exposures: An example from the Helendale fault;in Murbach, D. (editor), Mojave Desert: South Coast Geological Society Annual Field Trip Guidebook, pp. 253-262.

Cato, K., Gath, E., Gonzalez, T., Bornyasz, M., Walls, C., and Galetzka, J., 2000, The process of installing southern California's seismic GPS network (abstract): Association of Engineering Geologists, 2000 Annual Meeting, Program with Abstracts, AEG NEWS, Vol. 43, No. 4, p. 79.

Christiansen, R.L., and Yeats, R.S., 1992, Post-Laramide geology of the US. Cordilleran region;in Burchfiel, B.C., Lipman, P.W., and Zoback, M.L., (editors), The Cordilleran Orogen: Conterminous U.S.: Geological Society of America, Decade of North American Geology, Vol. G-3, pp. 261-406.

Clark, B.R., Zeiser, F.L., and Gath, E.M., 1986, Evidence for determining activity level of the Pelican Hill fault, coastal Orange County, California (abstract): Association of Engineering Geologists, Annual Meeting, Program with Abstracts, p. 46.

Crenna, P.A., Yeats, R.S., and Levi, S., 1994, Late Cenozoic tectonics and paleogeography of the Salem metropolitan area, central Willamette Valley, Oregon: Oregon Geology, Vol. 56, pp. 129-136.

Dawson, T.E., McGill, S.F., and Rockwell, T.K., 2003, Irregular recurrence of paleosearthquakes along the central Garlock fault near El Paso Peaks, California: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 108, No. B7, p. 2356, doi: 10,1029/2001JB001744.

Dolan, J.F. and Rockwell, T.K., 2001, Paleoseismologic evidence for a very large (Mw>7), post-1660 A.D. surface rupture on the eastern San Cayetano fault, Ventura County, California: Was this the elusive source of the damaging December 21, 1812 earthquake? Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 91, No. 6, pp. 1417-1432.

Dolan, J. F., Sieh, K., Guptill, P., Miller, G., Rockwell, T.K., and Smirnoff, T., 1997, Active tectonics, paleoseismology, and seismic hazards of the Hollywood fault, northern Los Angeles basin, California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 109, No. 12, pp. 1595-1616.

Dolan, J., Sieh, K., and Rockwell, T., 2000, Late Quaternary activity and seismic potential of the Santa Monica fault system, Los Angeles, California: Geological Society of America Bulletin,Vol. 112, pp. 1559-1581.

Dolan, J., Sieh, K., Rockwell, T., Guptill, P., and Miller, G., 1997, Active tectonics, paleoseismology and seismic hazards of the Hollywood fault, southern California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 109, pp. 1595-1616.

Dolan, J.F., Sieh, K., Rockwell, T.K., Yeats, R.S., Shaw, J., Suppe, J., Huftile, G.J., and Gath, E.M., 1995, Prospects for larger or more frequent earthquakes in the Los Angeles metropolitan region: Science, Vol. 267, pp. 199-205.

Dor, O., Ben-Zion, Y., Rockwell, T., and Brune, J., 2006, Pulverized Rocks in the Mojave section of the San Andreas Fault Zone: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 245, pp. 642-654.

Dor O., Rockwell, T.K., and Ben-Zion, Y., 2006, Geologic observations of damage asymmetry in the structure of the San Jacinto, San Andreas and Punchbowl faults in southern California: A possible indicator for preferred rupture propagation direction: Pure and Applied Geophysics,Vol. 163, pp. 1-48, doi: 10.1007/s00024-005-0023-9.

Dor, O., Yildirim, C., Rockwell, T.K., Ben-Zion, Y., Emre, O., Sisk, M., and Duman, T.Y., 2008, Geological and geomorphologic asymmetry across the rupture zones of the 1943 and 1944 earthquakes on the North Anatolian fault: possible signals for preferred earthquake propagation direction: Geophysical Journal International, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.03709.

Ellenblum, R., Marco, S., Agnon, A., Rockwell, T., and Boaz, A., 1998, A crusader castle torn apart by the earthquake of dawn, 20 May, 1202: Geology, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 303-306.

Ellis, B.J., Levi, S., and Yeats, R.S., 1993, Magnetic stratigraphy of the Morales Formation: Late Neogene clockwise rotation and compression in the Cuyama basin, California: Tectonics, Vol. 11, pp. 1170-1179.

Ferry, M., Meghraoui, M., Girad, J-F., Rockwell, T.K., Kozaci, A., Akyuz, S., and Barka, A., 2004, Ground-penetrating radar investigations along the North Anatolian fault near Izmit, Turkey: Constraints on the right-lateral movement and slip history: Geology, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 85-88.

Figueroa, O., Laton, W. R., and Foster, J. H., 2002, Hydrogeologic Characterization and Assessment of Impacts of Wastewater Discharge on the Broad Beach Water Table (abstract): National Ground Water Association, National Meeting, Abstracts with Programs.

Gath, E.M., 1983, Style of faulting interpreted from a trenching investigation, Glen Ivy South fault, Riverside County, California;in Steller, D.L., Bryant, M., and Gath, E.M., (editors), Geology of the Northern Elsinore Trough: South Coast Geological Society, Santa Ana, California, pp. 105-114.

Gath, E.M., 1984, An overview of glacial chronology for the Mammoth Lakes regions, eastern Sierra Nevada, California;in Payne, C.M., Ruff, R.W., and Gath, E.M., (editors), Geology of the Long Valley, Mono Craters; Mammoth Lakes Area: South Coast Geological Society, Santa Ana, California, pp. 54-60.

Gath, E.M., 1985, Brief overview of the tectonic origin of the Southern California Continental Borderland;in Gath, E.M. and Bottoms, M.M., (editors), Field Trip to Santa Catalina Island: South Coast Geological Society, Santa Ana, California, pp. 9-15.

Gath, E.M., 1987, Quaternary lakes in the Owens River system;in Gath, E.M. and others, (editors), Geology and Mineral Wealth of the Owens Valley Region, California: South Coast Geological Society, Santa Ana, California, pp. 44-57.

Gath, E.M.,1992, Geologic hazards and hazard mitigation in the Los Angeles region;in Pipkin, B.W. and Proctor, R.J., (editors), Engineering Geology Practice in Southern California: Association of Engineering Geologists, Southern California Section, Special Publication No. 4, pp. 1-32.

Gath, E.M., 1997, Tectonic geomorphology of the eastern Los Angeles Basin: U.S. Geological Survey Final Technical Report, National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) Contract No. 1434-95-G-2526, 13 p., 1 plate, 6 figures, 6 tables.

Gath, E.M., 1999, Geologic conclusions rarely are: the art and science of geologic reasoning: Association of Engineering Geologists, 42nd Annual Meeting, Program with Abstracts, p. 66.

Gath, E.M., 1999, Incorporating multi-hazard awareness into land planning for future disaster reduction: lessons learned in Southern California, USA;in Karaca, M. and Ural, D.N., (editors), Proceedings of the ITU-IAHS International Conference on the Kocaeli Earthquake of 17 August, 1999 a scientific assessment and recommendations for re-building: Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 221-228.

Gath, E.M., 2000, Laguna Beach and the evolution of its ocean views: a 1.4 Ma perspective (abstract): Association of Engineering Geologists, 2000 Annual Meeting, Program with Abstracts, AEG NEWS, Vol. 43, No. 4, p. 86.

Gath, E.M., 2000, Tectonic geomorphic development of the southwestern Los Angeles and Orange County Basins: a hypothesis (abstract): Society of Petroleum Engineers and Pacific Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Annual Meeting, June 19-22, Program & Abstracts, p. A19.

Gath, E.M., 2004, The Gap Ahead: The Pending Conflict Between Engineering Geology and Environmental Geology and What It Means for AEG;in Tepel, R.E., (editor), Symposium Proceedings (CD), Visioning the Future of Engineering Geology, Association of Engineering Geologists Special Publication No. 19, 12p.

Gath, E.M., Cann, L.C., and Bergmann, M.C., 1988, Evidence of paleo-surface rupture on the Whittier fault, 4 km east of Whittier, California (abstract): Geological Society of America, Cordilleran Section, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 20, No. 3, p. 162.

Gath, E.M., and Clark, B.R., 1988, The Safety Element of the General Plan: a database for urban hazard reduction (abstract): Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 20, No. 7, p. A389.

Gath, E.M. and Gonzalez, T., 1995, Earthquake risk assessment at San Bernardino Valley College: hazard mitigation astride the San Jacinto fault in southern California (abstract): Association of Engineering Geologists, 39th Annual Meeting, Program and Abstracts, p. 44.

Gath, E.M., Gonzalez, T., Drumm, P.L., and Buchiarelli, P., 1994, A paleoseismic investigation at the northern terminus of the Whittier fault zone, in the Whittier Narrows area, Rosemead, California: Technical Report to the Southern California Earthquake Center, 37p.

Gath, E.M., Gonzalez, T., Drumm, P.L., and Buchiarelli, P., 1994, Paleoseismic investigation at the northern terminus of the Whittier fault zone in the Whittier Narrows area, Rosemead, California (abstract): Association of Engineering Geologists, 37th Annual Meeting, Program and Abstracts, p. 47.