Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mud Pots Signal Possible Extension Of San Andreas Fault

Date:
July 31, 2008
Source:
Seismological Society of America
Summary:
A linear string of mud pots and mud volcanoes suggest surface evidence for a southern extension of the San Andreas Fault that runs through the Salton Sea, according to a paper published in the August issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Researchers have conducted a comprehensive survey of mud pots (like the one shown above) in the area immediately east of the southeastern-most portion of the Salton Sea in Imperial County, Calif.
Credit: Image courtesy of Seismological Society of America

A linear string of mud pots and mud volcanoes suggest surface evidence for a southern extension of the San Andreas Fault that runs through the Salton Sea, according to a paper published in the August issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA).

Researchers David K. Lynch and Kenneth W. Hudnut of USGS report the results of a comprehensive survey of mud pots in the area immediately east of the southeastern-most portion of the Salton Sea in Imperial County, Calif. Using satellite imagery, followed by a physical examination of the land, they identified a cluster of 33 mud pots, mud volcanoes and sink holes which, when plotted, form a clear linear pattern.

Mud pots and mud volcanoes are geothermal features produced when water or gas is forced upward through soil and sediments. Mud pots can assume a variety of forms, typically being depressions or enclosed basins containing gas seeps, bubbling water or viscous mud. Mud pots can also be water-laden and appear as bubbling muddy water. Mud volcanoes, on the other hand, are elevated conical structures composed of accumulations of viscous mud extruded from a central vent. They range from finger-sized to several kilometers across, though the largest in the Salton Sea area are about 2 meters high. Small mud volcanoes on land, ranging from one to 10 feet in height, are usually called mud cones or gryphons and are usually associated with volcanic and seismic activity.

"The presence of a linear field of geothermal features is evidence of a planar rift extending to considerable depth in the crust," Lynch and Hudnut write.

While geologists have suspected that the San Andreas Fault extended beyond its confirmed terminal point near Bombay Beach, erosion, seismic inactivity and agricultural reshaping of the land have erased any previously identifiable surface evidence to support the theory.

The San Andreas Fault is a plate boundary separating Pacific and North American plates. "This new evidence indicates that the region is more complicated than we previously thought," Lynch said. "The extension of the San Andreas does not appear to be active. It is probably a very old part of the fault, and helps to explain the larger, more complex transition area between the Imperial fault and San Andreas fault, called the Brawley Seismic Zone."

The southern portion of the San Andreas Fault is the focus of the Great Southern California ShakeOut, which will be an earthquake drill on 13 Nov. 2008 designed to help prepare local citizens for the next very large earthquake. The scenario will call for a quake with a magnitude of 7.8 that begins in the same area that is the subject of this paper.

The public can visit many of the 33 mud pots and mud volcanoes, some of which are located in the Wister Unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area that is administered by the California Department of Fish and Game.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Seismological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Seismological Society of America. "Mud Pots Signal Possible Extension Of San Andreas Fault." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133417.htm>.
Seismological Society of America. (2008, July 31). Mud Pots Signal Possible Extension Of San Andreas Fault. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133417.htm
Seismological Society of America. "Mud Pots Signal Possible Extension Of San Andreas Fault." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080729133417.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
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