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A series of fault lines previously thought to be unrelated is actually one long fault that could generate a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in Southern California, a new study shows.
Here are five things to know about the surprising study:
- The Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault system runs through San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, according to the new research.
- Previous research suggested the fault had breaks as wide as three miles, but Dr. Valerie Sahakian, who led the study, found the gaps were no more than 1.25 miles wide. That means you’re more likely to get an earthquake on all strands of the fault zone, as opposed to just one or two.
- The fault is close to the California coastline, no more than four miles away, and in some places — like Newport Beach and La Jolla — it runs under houses and other buildings.
- Overall, the fault moves and accumulates stress at less than one-tenth the rate of the nearby San Andreas fault, meaning it is not as likely to rupture, according to the research.
- Dr. Sahakian and her team spent more than 100 days at sea using acoustic waves to study the fault system at an unprecedented level of detail.
Read more at NY Times.com.