Ridgecrest Quakes Linked To New Movement Along California Fault Capable Of 8.0 Quake
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Scientists say this summer's Ridgecrest earthquake sequence is responsible for the first-ever movement along a major California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 earthquake.
In a study released Thursday b y the journal Science, Caltech seismologists say movement along the 160-mile-long Garlock fault in the northern Mojave Desert has caused a land bulge that was picked up by satellite radar images.
Prior to the findings, there have been no observed strong earthquakes linked to the Garlock fault, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"This is surprising, because we've never seen the Garlock fault do anything. Here, all of a sudden, it changed its behavior," lead study author and Caltech assistant professor of geophysics, Zachary Rossy, told the Times. "We don't know what it means."
The U.S. Geological Survey predicted last month the Ridgecrest quakes were unlikely to trigger a larger earthquake, but added that the quakes did increase the risk of a magnitude-7.5 quake or larger along the Garlock and other faults.
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