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L Tecolote

Why cant we get a good earthquake ………….you know , the one that gets rid of Kalifornia ?

Tolik, the necessary stresses have been building for 159 years in the L.A. area, unless somebody’s figured out how to suspend tectonic forces. The Pacific Plate (~ a paltry 2-3 miles thick) is slowly being crunched beneath the North American Plate (~20-30 miles thick.) San Diego, L.A., and San Francisco sit on the Pacific Plate. The relative movement gets halted (temporarily — for ~150-200 years) at the end of the transverse range of mountains just north of L.A. , like hanging it up on a spur.

When it eventually lets loose, the released stress is great enough to produce a sudden northward “jump” of that portion of the Pacific Plate. The last time such happened on a large scale, in 1857, it left a “crack” in the surface, 30-50 feet wide, and ~25 miles long. The resulting lateral shift of fence lines, roads, and creeks, crossing that “crack,” was 10 meters. Current estimates of the stresses now built up indicate an approximate movement of 5-6 meters worth. Humans cannot afford to build large structures strong enough to withstand such violent sideways movement, even if they know how.

You could ask the fedgov to send a contractor with a drill and a nuke, in hopes of triggering the quake on cue, but even creatures as bereft of virtue as we Californians might oppose such effort.

Cry, "Treason!"