Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Earthquake Studies: Fault Moving Faster Than Believed

Date:
November 14, 2001
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the University of California, Los Angeles, have concluded that earthquake fault zones in California's eastern Mojave Desert are moving in different ways than they expected.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the University of California, Los Angeles, have concluded that earthquake fault zones in California's eastern Mojave Desert are moving in different ways than they expected.

For years researchers were aware that movement in the southern California shear zone was distributed over a 100-kilometer (60-mile) wide area. However, they assumed that deep below the surface the Blackwater Little Lake and the Garlock faults were creeping steadily, something that the new study seems to contradict.

New findings indicate that more than half of the right-lateral motion of the Eastern California shear zone is sharply concentrated along the Blackwater Little Lake fault system. The rapid strain accumulation observed along the fault system indicates that the fault is building up stress in the shallow crust at a rate three times faster than the rate inferred from geological observations. This may be the manifestation of stress transfer between the Garlock fault and other faults in the Mojave area, in particular those that produced the magnitude 7.3 Landers earthquake in 1992 and the magnitude 7.8 Owens Valley earthquake in 1872.

Scientists arrived at the conclusion after studying radar interferometry data collected by satellites over the last eight years. Radar interferometry is a method to map the topography and displacement of the Earth's surface with extreme accuracy.

A paper with the findings is in the Nov. 1, 2001, issue of the journal Geology.

"The most exciting thing is we discovered something we didn't expect. We were looking for deformation on the Garlock fault, but we saw in the image a concentration of shear along the Blackwater Little Lake fault, which cuts the Garlock fault at a right angle," said Dr. Gilles Peltzer, a UCLA professor and JPL research scientist who is the lead author of the study. "Radar interferometry has been applied previously to the study of earthquakes, and what we are imaging here is the surface strain field produced by the slow creep occurring at depth on active faults between earthquakes."

Operated by the European Space Agency, the European Remote Sensing satellites use interaction of radar waves to measure distances and angles precisely. The satellites look at Earth in a slanted angle at 23 degrees. The only other way to gain such accurate information on fault displacement would be to place Global Positioning System receivers every 50 meters (about 165 feet).

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Earthquake Studies: Fault Moving Faster Than Believed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011112074143.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2001, November 14). Earthquake Studies: Fault Moving Faster Than Believed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011112074143.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Earthquake Studies: Fault Moving Faster Than Believed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011112074143.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins