At 9 a.m., join L.A. Times reporters Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia as they discuss how Los Angeles officials missed signs in a geological report that suggest a $200-million development under construction in Hollywood might be located above an earthquake fault.
The information was contained in reports written by a geotechnical engineering consultant hired by the developer of the Blvd6200 project and filed with the city. The report, obtained by The Times under the California Public Records Act, said groundwater levels varied by as much as 30 feet below the property.
Geologists generally consider uneven groundwater levels in California a strong indicator of an earthquake fault.
The city Department of Building and Safety did not raise concerns about an earthquake fault when it reviewed and approved the report in 2007 without requiring any in-depth seismic study.
California state geologist John Parrish said the uneven groundwater cited in the report suggests that the project could sit on top of the Hollywood fault, which is capable of producing a devastating 7.0 earthquake.
"One of the most common indicators of the existence of a fault is the presence of an offset groundwater table," Parrish said. "It can be logically construed that the break in groundwater table elevations is because of the presence of a fault."
Parrish and another geologist who read the report said the differing water levels should have prompted further underground investigation, such as digging a trench and deep holes in the ground to determine whether there is actually a fault.