Seismologists hope to create Calif. earthquake forecasts

By Rong-Gong Lin II and Raoul Rañoa, Los Angeles Times

One day, next to the traffic map and weather forecast on your smartphone, seismologist Thomas H. Jordan envisions an app that you can check to see when the chances of a major earthquake in California rise.

Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, is quick to make clear this is not an earthquake prediction. Predicting exactly when and where a catastrophic earthquake will strike next is impossible, scientists say.

But what scientists can do is pay close attention when moderate quakes strike in perilously sensitive spots — places right next to major faults such as the San Andreas.

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