Seismic Hazards Associated with a Major San Diego Lifeline Corridor

by Scott C. Lindvall, Lindvall Richter Associates, Los Angeles, United States,
Thomas K. Rockwell, Lindvall Richter Associates, Los Angeles, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering


Evidence for multiple Holocene earthquakes on the Rose Canyon fault zone in San Diego sheds new light on the seismic hazards of San Diego, and in particular, a major lifeline corridor. The northwest-trending fault zone intersects and is coincident with this corridor, which enters San Diego from the north through Rose Canyon, and therefore, exposes these lifelines to not only the hazard of strong ground shaking but also the hazard of fault rupture. The Rose Canyon fault zone, which until recently was considered only potentially active, exhibits well-defined geomorphic features characteristics of right-lateral strike-slip faulting in early aerial photographs. A trench exposure has documented recurrent surface rupturing earthquakes since 8,300 years ago with the most recent event occurring within the past 1,600 years. These past earthquakes were greater than magnitude 6.0, as surface rupture is not usually associated with events smaller than this magnitude. A significant number of lifelines, including an interstate highway, railroad, gas transmission line, waste water pipeline, serve San Diego through this corridor. In addition, the international airport and portions of the water, power, gas, sewer, and communication distribution systems near the waterfront are founded on liquefiable soils in areas adjacent to the fault zone.

Subject Headings: Canyons | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Geohazards | Lifeline systems | Water supply systems | Earthquake magnitude scale | Soil gas | California | United States

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