Environment & Science

Ventura earthquake fault puts California at risk for tsunami

A roadway between Seal Beach and Bolsa Chica Gun Club is cracked in this file photo taken following an earthquake in Long Beach, California, on March 10, 1933.
A roadway between Seal Beach and Bolsa Chica Gun Club is cracked in this file photo taken following an earthquake in Long Beach, California, on March 10, 1933.
USGS/W.W. Bradley

Officials are considering revising tsunami hazard maps after researchers found the Ventura fault line in Southern California is much more dangerous than previously believed.

The Los Angeles Times reports that new geological research shows that the Ventura fault, is capable of producing earthquakes as large as magnitude 8 as well as severe tsunamis. The fault runs through the heart of downtown Ventura and connects to fault lines in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and down to Santa Barbara.

Previously, researchers did not think California earthquakes could produce tsunamis, since the San Andreas fault is so far inland.

A major earthquake on the Ventura fault is estimated to occur every 400 to 2,400 years. The last major quake in Ventura was about 800 years ago.