Chino Valley, Arizona, is home to two fault systems, the Little Chino and Big Chino faults, capable of delivering moderate to large earthquakes, with a maximum likely magnitude of 6.5+. Prescott, 30 miles to the south, could be adversely impacted by rupture of either one of the faults. Brian Gootee walks along a roadcut that exposes multiple fault features of the Little Chino fault, and describes the complexity, recurrence period and potential hazard of future events.
A fault scarp – 40 feet high – marks the central segment of the Big Chino fault. Phil Pearthree, Chief of AZGS Environmental Geology, points out salient features and describes the behavior of Basin and Range faults in central Arizona. From Prescott’s Courthouse square, Phil discusses the possible impact of a magnitude 6.5+ earthquake on the town and its community.