New study finds that a major Southern California fault line capable of producing an 8.0 magnitude earthquake has started moving

Friday, October 18, 2019
By Paul Martin

Researchers say the earthquake that hammered the Southern California desert in July increased strain on a major nearby fault that has begun to slowly move
Ruptures in the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence ended a few miles from the Garlock Fault
The Garlock Fault has been relatively quiet for 500 years
It now has begun a process called fault creep and has slipped 0.8 inch since July, according to the research
Southern California’s largest earthquake sequence in two decades began July 4 in the Mojave Desert about 120 miles north of Los Angeles
A magnitude 6.4 foreshock was followed the next day by a magnitude 7.1 mainshock and then more than 100,000 aftershocks

DailyMail.com
18 October 2019

The earthquakes that hammered the Southern California desert near the town of Ridgecrest last summer involved ruptures on a web of interconnected faults and increased strain on a major nearby fault that has begun to slowly move, according to a new study.

Ruptures in the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence ended a few miles from the Garlock Fault, which runs east-west for 185 miles from the San Andreas Fault to Death Valley.

The Garlock Fault has been relatively quiet for 500 years.

It now has begun a process called fault creep and has slipped 0.8 inch since July, the research found.

The study by geophysicists from the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was published in the journal Science on Thursday, coinciding with the implementation of a statewide earthquake early warning system for the general public.

Southern California’s largest earthquake sequence in two decades began July 4 in the Mojave Desert about 120 miles north of Los Angeles.

A magnitude 6.4 foreshock was followed the next day by a magnitude 7.1 mainshock and then more than 100,000 aftershocks.

Zachary Ross, assistant professor of geophysics at Caltech and lead author of the paper, said in a statement that it was one of the most well-documented earthquake sequences in history.

Ross developed automated computer analysis of seismometer data to detect the huge number of aftershocks with precise location information, Caltech and JPL said in a press release.

The JPL scientists mapped surface ruptures of the faults with data from Japanese and European Space Agency radar satellites.

‘I was surprised to see how much complexity there was and the number of faults that ruptured,’ said Eric Fielding, a co-author of the study from JPL.

About 20 previously unknown crisscrossing faults were involved.

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