Southern California Earthquake Data Center

Significant Earthquakes and Faults

Chronological Earthquake Index

Imperial Valley Earthquake

Type of Faulting: right-lateral strike-slip
Time: October 15, 1979 / 4:54 pm PDT
Location: 32° 37' N, 115° 19' W about 29 km (18 miles) southeast of El Centro
Magnitude: MW6.4
Fault Ruptured: Imperial (main and North Extension), Brawley, and Rico faults
Rupture Length: 30 km of the Imperial fault zone, 13 km of the Brawley fault zone, and 1 km of the Rico fault


Strike-slip offset

Strike-slip offset of 57 centimeters on a canal on the Imperial Fault.
The concrete patch over the broken area has already been cracked
by post-earthquake slip. (Photo: Robert E. Wallace)