Scientists say major California fault that could produce a magnitude 8 earthquake has begun moving: LA Times
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Caltech scientists say the 160-mile Garlock fault, capable of producing a magnitude 8 earthquake, has begun moving for the first time due to July's Ridgecrest earthquakes destabilizing nearby faults, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.
Satellite radar images show the fault, located on the northern edge of the Mojave Desert, has begun to move for the first time on record, the article says.
An earthquake on the Garlock fault could result in strong shaking to Bakersfield and Kern County, among other areas, the Times reported, as well as Edwards Air Force Base and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
"Whether the destabilization will result in a major quake soon cannot be predicted," the article says. "In September, the U.S. Geological Survey said the most likely scenario is that the Ridgecrest quakes probably won't trigger a larger earthquake.
"Nevertheless, the USGS said that the July quakes have raised the chances of an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or more on the nearby Garlock, Owens Valley, Blackwater and Panamint Valley faults over the next year."
Just after 10 a.m. on July 4, the magnitude 6.4 quake hit the Ridgecrest area. A day later, a magnitude 7.1 quake jolted Ridgecrest and the surrounding area.
While there were no deaths or reported serious injuries in Kern County, the earthquakes did significant damage to buildings and infrastructure.
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