California’s ‘Big One’ could trigger super cycle of destructive quakesA major earthquake – the Big One – is statistically almost certain in California in the coming decades, and there is even worse news below the ground: it is likely to be followed by a series of similar-sized temblors, according to a leading seismologist. The current relatively quiet seismic period – in which “far less” energy is being released in earthquakes than it is being stored from tectonic plate motions “cannot last forever,” said University of Southern California earth sciences professor James Dolan while delivering a new paper during the Seismological Society of America conference in Pasadena. “At some point, we will need to start releasing all of this pent-up energy stored in the rocks in a series of large earthquakes,” Dolan stressed. The earthquake could spark a “super cycle,” meaning “a flurry of other Big Ones, as stresses related to the original San Andreas fault earthquake are redistributed on other faults throughout Southern California,” he said.While there would not be a literal cannonade of destruction, the earthquakes could come just decades apart, like, for example, the 7.5 major quake in 1812 on the San Andreas fault, followed by a 7.7 in 1857. FULL REPORT