The Milk writer will provide the screenplay for Universal Pictures and Bad Robot's disaster movie, reports Deadline.
The film is not intended to be a remake of the 1974 Charlton Heston-starring movie of the same name.
Earthquake was first rumoured in 2008, with The Omen's David Seltzer formerly in line to write the script.
Black followed up his Oscar-winning work on Milk with the Clint Eastwood-directed J. Edgar.
He has been working on projects including Banner of Heaven at Warner Bros for Ron Howard, 20th Century Fox's Barefoot Bandit and an adaptation of Dark Horse Comics' 3 Story, which he is in line to direct.
Earthquake is lined up to compete with New Line Cinema's San Andreas 3D.