Uncharacteristic Earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5263, pp. 826-827
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5263.826


One model of earthquake recurrence holds that large quakes exhibit regular or characteristic rupture patterns. Combined with a simple picture of how elastic strain accumulates in the faults, this implies that characteristic earthquakes occur at regular intervals. In her Perspective, Grant proposes that recent data from study sites along the San Andreas fault are difficult to understand with this model. The earthquake activity is more irregular and more clustered than the model would suggest.