California earthquake: NASA finds 217 MILE-LONG fault under California and Mexico

Friday, October 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

NASA’S scientists found evidence of a 217-mile-long earthquake fault line system extending from Southern California to Northern Mexico.

By SEBASTIAN KETTLEY
Express.co.uk
Fri, Oct 12, 2018

A multiyear study by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) linked pre-existing fault lines into a longer chain.

NASA scientist Andrea Donnellan, who led the team, said the study unearthed a 21-mile-long fault line fracture connecting Mexico and the US.

The fault line, dubbed the Ocotillo Section, was discovered just north of the Mexican border, outside of Plaster City.

NASA’s scientists believe better knowledge of this fault line system can help geologists understand how tectonic stress transfers between faults.

This could in turn help researchers predict whether an earthquake along one section of a fault can grow into a much larger quake along other sections.

NASA said: “The short length of the connecting fault segment, which they call the Ocotillo section, is consistent with an immature fault zone that is still developing, where repeated earthquakes have not yet created a smoother, single fault instead of several strands.

“The Ocotillo section was the site of a magnitude 5.7 aftershock that ruptured on a 5-mile-long fault buried under the California desert two months after the 2010 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in Baja California, Mexico.

“The magnitude 7.2 earthquake caused severe damage in the Mexican city of Mexicali and was felt throughout Southern California.

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