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San Diego Earthquake Scenario

Scenario for a Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake on the Rose Canyon Fault For Earthquake Risk Reduction in the San Diego Region

The Scenario earthquake is a M6.9 crustal strike-slip Rose Canyon Fault rupture with a length of 69km, slip of a maximum of 2m, and an epicenter depth of 7.7km.


The Rose Canyon Fault Zone runs through the heart of the San Diego metropolitan area, presenting a major seismic hazard to the San Diego region, the third largest and one of the fastest growing population centers in California. The region’s large population coupled with the poor seismic resistance of its older buildings and infrastructure systems, make San Diego vulnerable to earthquakes.

Over the past five years, experts in geoscience, engineering, and emergency management studied the impacts of a magnitude 6.9 scenario earthquake on the Rose Canyon Fault Zone to raise awareness and prompt action towards reducing risk to earthquakes. The outcome of this report is a vision for a Seismically Resilient San Diego and outline of next steps to take action towards improving the San Diego region’s resilience to earthquakes.


Download the report and technical supplementary materials here. As future studies are conducted, more materials will become available on this page.

Executive Summary

Full Report – San Diego Earthquake Planning Scenario

Technical Supplements 

  1. Scenario Methodology for Liquefaction Hazard Assessment

  2. Methodology for Seismic Landsliding Hazard Assessment

  3. Methodology for Tsunami Inundation


Scenario Maps
M6.9 Rose Canyon Fault Zone Scenario Earthquake Simulation (video)
USGS Scenario Event Page