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New Earthquake faults mapped in California

US: More than fifty new surface earthquake faults have been discovered in California over the last two decades, according to a new state map that officials hope will help guide future development decisions and emergency planning. The state’s fault activity map, produced by the California Geological Survey, is the first in 16 years and offers a reminder of California’s quake risks.

Most of the faults have been known to researchers, and information on them is contained in scientific files. But state officials and quake experts hope that putting all the faults on one map will educate the state about quake risk zones and help residents grasp the geography of the fault lines.

The release of the map comes amid an increased interest in quakes in California and beyond. Last month’s 7.2 quake south of Mexicali produced thousands of aftershocks, including dozens registering above magnitude 4.0. As a result, officials said 2010 is shaping up to have significantly more quakes greater than 4.0 than any year in the last decade.

Source:  Los Angles Times