Earthquakes Typically Don’t ‘Relieve’ Seismic Stress — Meaning July 4th Quake Likely Won’t Delay ‘Big One’

Cleanup continues at Eastridge Market in Ridgecrest, Calif., hours after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the area. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Cleanup continues at Eastridge Market in Ridgecrest, Calif., hours after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake shook the area. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Does a good-size earthquake help relieve pent-up seismic stress? Does that postpone the day of reckoning when the Big One finally arrives?

Earthquakes generally don't immediately relieve seismic stress or forestall a future big quake. In fact, earthquakes typically increase the risk of future seismic activity. (Credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

Earthquakes generally don’t immediately relieve seismic stress or forestall a future big quake. In fact, earthquakes typically increase the risk of future seismic activity. (Credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

That was the question some in California were asking hopefully in the wake of the July 4 magnitude 6.4 earthquake that rattled the region.

You won’t like this answer.

It’s wishful thinking to imagine that, as a rule, earthquakes “relieve” seismic stress, said seismologist Lucy Jones.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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