The 3.2-magnitude quake in Beverly Hills

The big yellow square shows the location of the earthquake in Beverly Hills on Monday. Source: USGS.


UPDATE: A 3.4-magnitude earthquake occurred in Beverly Hills at 12:03 a.m. Friday, with the epicenter just south of Wilshire Boulevard near Reeves Drive, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That's about one-half mile from Monday's earthquake (more info below). No damage was reported, according to City News Service.

As Metro continues engineering and design work for the Westside Subway Extension, we’ve had a few inquiries from readers about the location of the 3.2-magnitude earthquake that was felt in Beverly Hills early Monday morning. Their question: did the quake occur on one of the fault systems near the future rail line?

The short answer: it’s hard to say for certain at this time. The epicenter of the quake was just east of downtown Beverly Hills, near the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Oakhurst Drive, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Google Earth map (you need Google Earth to view this).

Dr. James Dolan, a Professor of Earth Science at USC and a consultant with the subway project, said that this was “such a small earthquake that it need not have occurred on any major fault.” There are many small faults throughout Southern California, some of which periodically produce little earthquakes, he said.

For more information about building a subway in earthquake country, please see this FAQ (pdf) with answers about geotechnical studies for the project and safety measures that Metro will be taking. In addition, here’s a recent post on The Source about how a subway is designed to withstand an earthquake.


8 replies

  1. The Shannon & Wilson, Inc WBHL maps show a series of red lines indicating various fault line segments beneath and east of BHHS running approx. N/S angling N/E ward. I have seen reports stating that the WBHL is a branch of he mighty Newport-Inglewood- Rose Fault line. My home is west of the BH/LA city line, close to SMB & I certainly felt both earthquakes-just hired someone to check my home for small damage. I hope that both Beverly Hills and Metro do further tests and technical review as a result of these two quakes. It just may be that tunneling perpendicular to the WBHL becomes the only option as METRO has a history of safely tunneling perpendicular to a fault line. Also, tests the area of the current faults -Wilshire & Oakhurst, also Reeves Dr. We need a safe subway!

  2. I’m wondering if these earthquakes were along the faults that Beverly Hills claims are not active to support their argument of placing the Purple Line Century City station under Santa Monica Blvd/Avenue of the Stars instead of Constellation/Avenue of the Stars.

    • Hi Erik;

      As the post says, both quakes are east of Century City and may be on the many other smaller faults that lace the L.A. metro area.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. A 3.5 earthquake occurred in Beverly Hills early Friday was felt over a wide area but caused no reported damage.

    A 3.2 magnitude temblor hit Beverly Hills earlier in the week, on Monday.

    Hopefully, the MTA can use these quakes in the case against BH and BHHS.

    • Hi Carol;

      Thanks for the heads up. I tried to link directly to the geotechnical and safety sections of the FAQ. Didn’t work. Instead please follow this link to a pdf of the entire FAQ and then scroll down to the geotechnical and safety sections, beginning on page 16.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source