The large, South-California-fault-eyed after a study revealed an unprecedented move

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A major southern California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 temblor, began to move, and for the first time in 500 years, following a series of earthquakes in the Mojave Desert in the summer, according to a new study, published Thursday in the journal Science.


In the study by geophysicists from the California Institute of Technology (mit) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory found that the Garlock Fault that runs from east to west, about 185 km by the San Andreas Fault to the Death Valley, has slipped to .8 inches since last July. This is the very first move should be documented on the failure of the modern historical record.

“This is not surprising, because we’ve never been to the Garlock fault of things to do. All of a sudden, it has changed its behaviour,” Zachary Ross, an assistant professor of geophysics at Caltech and lead author of the paper, told the Los Angeles Times. “We don’t know what it means.”

FILE – In this July 7, 2019 file photo, a visitor takes a photo of a crack in the ground after the recent earthquakes in the vicinity of Ridgecrest, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Satellite images shows this process, called fault creep started after Southern California experienced its largest earthquake of the sequence in a two-decades early, on the 4th of July. A magnitude 6.4 foreshock rocked the Mojave Desert, about 120 miles north of Los Angeles, a magnitude 7.1 mainshock hit the next day, in addition to more than 100,000 impact.

In the earthquake that hammered the desert town of Ridgecrest sent to break up a web of inter-related faults throughout the region, causing additional stress on the Garlock Fault. Ross said about 20 were previously unknown, since the errors were caught, which adds to the evidence that major earthquakes can be caused by a complex process, not only due to a break in one of the big fault lines.

Ross has developed an automated computer analysis of seismometer data are used to detect the huge number of aftershocks, with specific information about the location, the Caltech and JPL, said in a news release. Ross said the 6.4 quake at the same time, broke up error at right angles to each other, which he characterized as unusual.

“It’s going to force people to think about how do we quantify the seismic hazard and whether or not our approach is in the definition of the error should be different,” he said. “We can’t just assume that the largest errors will dominate the seismic risk, as a lot of the smaller failures, you can click on the link for the making of these large earthquakes.”


In the study, the findings of which were published in the same day, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of the nation’s first provincial of the Earthquake Early Warning System that will use ground sensors across the state to detect earthquakes before humans can feel them.

A ShakeAlert system is being developed by the U.s. Geological Survey and the science of institutions, for many years, will now push alerts to your mobile phone via an app, which was developed at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Wire, the Emergency Alert system.

ShakeAlert makes use of the hundreds of seismic sensor stations for detecting the start of an earthquake, calculate its location, and the power, and the generation of a signal that is in the app, and the WEA system is to send messages to phones in the area is expected to be a significant shake up. The aim is to ensure that seconds or tens of seconds, during which people can protect themselves before the shaking arrives at their location.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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