New Section Of San Andreas Fault Could Be Site Of Next Major Earthquake

Posted: Jun 22 2018, 2:17pm CDT | by , Updated: Jun 22 2018, 2:20pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

New Section of San Andreas Fault could be Site of Next Major Earthquake
Credit: US Geological Survey

Scientists have been warning that Southern California is long overdue for a massive seven-point earthquake

California’s San Andreas Fault System has not caused a major earthquake for decades. But experts warn it may trigger one in the future and that the southern tip of the San Andreas fault could be the site of this next major earthquake.

Using detailed geologic and structural mapping of San Andreas fault zone (SAFZ) in southern California, researchers have discovered a ladder-like structure in the upper 3 to 5 kilometers of the earth. This newly identified structure, Durmid ladder, is at least 25 kilometers long and could lead to an earthquake with a magnitude greater than seven.

“The southernmost San Andreas fault zone, onshore of the Salton Sea, southern California, is a transpressional, 1–4-km-wide ladder-like structure. This newly identified Durmid ladder structure is a voluminous, right-reverse fault zone that broadens across Durmid Hill around rotating domains of regularly spaced, left- and right-lateral cross faults.” Authors wrote in the study.

San Andreas Fault line is an earthquake-prone place and a major earthquake arriving from this direction would lead to cataclysmic shaking in Southern California. The results of the latest study provide a more detailed picture of faults that abruptly rupture and slip.

“Here we investigate surface deformation measured by radar interferometry along the central San Andreas Fault between 2003 and 2010 to constrain a temporal evolution of creep. We show that slow-slip events are ensembles of localized creep bursts that asystematically rupture isolated fault compartments. We propose that compaction-driven elevated pore fluid pressure in the hydraulically isolated fault zone and subsequent frictional dilation caused the observed slow-slip episodes.” Study reads.

“We further suggest that the 2004 Mw 6 Parkfield earthquake might have been triggered by a slow-slip event, which increased the Coulomb failure stress by up to 0.45 bar per year. This implies that while creeping segments are suggested to act as seismic rupture barriers, slow-slip events on these zones might promote seismicity on adjacent locked segments.”

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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