The 1984 Morgan Hill, California, Earthquake

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  20 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4659, pp. 288-291
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4659.288


The Morgan Hill, California, earthquake (magnitude 6.1) of 24 April 1984 ruptured a 30-kilometer-long segment of the Calaveras fault zone to the east of San Jose. Although it was recognized in 1980 that an earthquake of magnitude 6 occurred on this segment in 1911 and that a repeat of this event might reasonably be expected, no short-term precursors were noted and so the time of the 1984 earthquake was not predicted. Unilateral rupture propagation toward the south-southeast and an energetic late source of seismic radiation located near the southeast end of the rupture zone contributed to the highly focused pattern of strong motion, including an exceptionally large horizontal acceleration of 1.29g at a site on a dam abutment near the southeast end of the rupture zone.