Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Earthquake hazards

Rivers, rifts and ruptures


The southern San Andreas fault is due for a large earthquake. Seismic images of sediments deposited in an ancient lake overlying the southern end of the fault indicate that episodic flooding may have triggered earthquakes in the past.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: The San Andreas fault and Salton Trough in southern California, USA.


  1. Weldon, W. J., Fumal, T. E., Biasi, G. P & Scharer, M. Science 308, 966–967 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Field, E. H. et al. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 99, 2053–2107 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Olsen, K. B. et al. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L07305 (2006).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Philibosian, B., Fumal, T. & Weldon, R. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 101, 13–38 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Brothers, D., Kilb, D., Luttrell, K., Driscoll, N. & Kent, G. Nature Geosci. 4, 486–492 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Waters, M. R. Quat. Res. 19, 373–387 (1983).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Simpson, D. W., Leith, W. S. & Scholz, C. H. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 78, 2025–2040 (1988).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to John A. Hole.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hole, J. Rivers, rifts and ruptures. Nature Geosci 4, 428–429 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing