Tags: san andreas fault | movement | vertical | earthquake

San Andreas Fault Movement Set for Vertical Releveling During Quake

Image: San Andreas Fault Movement Set for Vertical Releveling During Quake
California's Antelope Valley freeway passes near folded layers of sediment above the San Andreas Fault near Palmdale, California June 22, 2006. The southern end of the San Andreas fault near Los Angeles, which has been still for more than two centuries, is under immense stress and could produce a massive earthquake at any moment, a scientist announced June 21, 2006. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Jun 2016 10:53 AM

New computer images of San Andreas fault movement show large sections of Southern California rising and sinking.

Scientists studying the data say the seismic strain reflected in the images will ultimately release a large earthquake, something that has long been predicted, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The study, published Monday in the journal Nature, revealed that a 125-mile-wide area making up much of Los Angeles Basin, Orange County, San Diego County, and the Bakersfield is sinking 2 to 3 millimeters a year. Meanwhile, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and a large portion of San Bernardino County, are rising.

A major earthquake would likely release the mounting tension and pull those areas back to an even level.

“It’s pretty much impossible to say when the next one will happen,” Sam Howell, a doctoral candidate in geophysics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the lead author of the report, told the Times.

But the data provide clues to help in their predictions, Forbes reported. Previous data tracked horizontal movement, but models of vertical movement provide a more detailed look.

The researchers created the computer images using data from GPS instruments, accelerometers, and seismograms. A comprehensive statistical technique was used to decipher the data.

“While the San Andreas GPS data has been publicly available for more than a decade, the vertical component of the measurements had largely been ignored in tectonic investigations because of difficulties in interpreting the noisy data,” Howell said in a University of Hawaii press release. “Using this technique, we were able to break down the noisy signals to isolate a simple vertical motion pattern that curiously straddled the San Andreas fault.”

Scientists have said the area is overdue for a large earthquake.

The southern San Andreas fault saw its last big earthquake in 1857, when a 7.9 earthquake that stretched 185 miles between Monterey County and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Twitter users expressed concern over the new findings.






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New computer images of San Andreas fault movement show large sections of Southern California rising and sinking.
san andreas fault, movement, vertical, earthquake
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2016-53-23
Thursday, 23 Jun 2016 10:53 AM
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