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Latest San Andreas Fault Stories

2010-05-24 11:33:10

The major earthquakes that devastated Chile earlier this year and which triggered the catastrophic Indonesian tsunami of 2004 are more than just a distinct possibility to strike the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States, scientists say. There is more than a one-in-three chance that it will happen within the next 50 years. New analyses by Oregon State University marine geologist Chris Goldfinger and his colleagues have provided fresh insights into the Northwest's turbulent seismic...

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2010-04-07 14:06:13

The topography surrounding the Laguna Salada fault in the Mexican state of Baja, California, is clearly shown in this combined radar image and topographic view generated with data from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). On April 4, 2010, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck along this fault about 64 kilometers (40 miles) south of the Mexico-United States border. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was the largest to strike this area since 1892. This fault is a...

2010-02-21 08:51:56

Researchers who devised the largest earthquake preparedness event ever undertaken in the United States say one of the biggest challenges was translating devastation projections from a hypothetical magnitude 7.8 San Andreas Fault temblor into timely, usable information to the more than 5 million California participants in 2008. Known as the Great Southern California Shakeout, the event was designed by more than 300 experts in fields including earth sciences, engineering, policy, economics and...

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2010-01-27 06:45:00

In response to the disaster in Haiti on Jan. 12, NASA has added a series of science overflights of earthquake faults in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola to a previously scheduled three-week airborne radar campaign to Central America. NASA's Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, left NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., on Jan. 25 aboard a modified NASA Gulfstream III aircraft. During its trek to Central America, which...

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2010-01-21 15:20:30

Stream channel offsets features linked to large earthquakes Recent studies of stream channel offsets along the San Andreas Fault reveal new information about fault behavior--changing our understanding of the potential for damaging earthquakes. The studies were conducted at the Carrizo Plain, 100 miles north of Los Angeles and site of the original "Big One"--the Fort Tejon quake of 1857--by scientists at Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of California at Irvine (UCI).Applying a...

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2010-01-14 14:43:34

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that triggered disastrous destruction and mounting death tolls in Haiti this week occurred in a highly complex tangle of tectonic faults near the intersection of the Caribbean and North American crustal plates, according to a quake expert at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) who has studied faults in the region and throughout the world. Jian Lin, a WHOI senior scientist in geology and geophysics, said that even though the quake was "large but not...

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2009-12-23 14:50:00

Link to earthquakes unclear, but tremors seem to increase stress on shallower fracture zone The faint tug of the sun and moon on the San Andreas Fault stimulates tremors deep underground, suggesting that the rock 15 miles below is lubricated with highly pressurized water that allows the rock to slip with little effort, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, seismologists. "Tremors seem to be extremely sensitive to minute stress changes," said Roland Brgmann, UC...

2009-12-04 15:33:06

Most earthquakes occur along fault lines, which form boundaries between two tectonic plates. As the relative speed of the plates around a fault increases, is there a corresponding increase in the number of earthquakes produced along the fault? According to this study published in the December issue of BSSA, the answer depends upon the type of tectonic boundary. On certain types of boundary, the efficiency of earthquake production actually depends on the fault slip rate. Seismic hazard...

2009-11-23 09:43:37

Using a technique normally used for detecting weak tremors, scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that the 2004 magnitude 6 earthquake along the Parkfield section of the San Andreas fault exhibited almost 11 times more aftershocks than previously thought.  The research appears online in Nature Geoscience and will appear in print in a forthcoming edition. "We found almost 11 times more events in the first three days after the main event. That's surprising because...

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2009-11-09 07:38:14

With an average of four mini-earthquakes per day, Southern California's San Jacinto fault constantly adjusts to make it a less likely candidate for a major earthquake than its quiet neighbor to the east, the Southern San Andreas fault, according to an article in the journal Nature Geoscience. "Those minor to moderate events along the San Jacinto fault relieve some of the stress built by the constantly moving tectonic plates," said Shimon Wdowinski, research associate professor at the...