Scientists: Movement Detected Along California Fault That Could Cause an 8-Magnitude Earthquake  

After the biggest earthquake to hit Southern California in 20 years struck in July, a powerful fault line that could cause a magnitude 8 earthquake began moving, scientists say. In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers from the California Institute of Technology along with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said a part of the Garlock fault slipped after being triggered by the series of earthquakes in the Ridgecrest area. The fault runs 185 miles east to west from the San Andreas Fault to Death Valley. Scientists found that it has slipped 0.8 inch (or about 2 centimeters) near its surface since July. Researchers were able to record the movement for the first time through satellite imagery and seismometer data. The discovery marks the first observation, through modern recording tools, of the fault’s “creep,” which is the slow movement of a fault. “It’s surprising because we haven’t seen [the Garlock fault] do that before,” Zachary Ross, an assistant professor of geophysics at Caltech and one of the study’s co-authors, tells TIME. “We haven’t seen it really do anything.” Ross describes the movement as the slow detaching of land on the fault’s two sides, which typically stay locked through friction. The Ridgecrest earthquakes, the strongest of which was a 7.1 magnitude, caused the two sides to slide away from each other, Ross says. Ruptures in the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence e...
Source: TIME: Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Uncategorized California Natural Disasters onetime Source Type: news

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