Radar detects earthquake threat to Los Angles

Radar detects earthquake threat to Los Angles

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US: The earthquake measuring 7.2 in Baja, Mexico on April 4, 2010, appears to have transferred strain onto southern California faults, raising the risk of a “Big One” in the Los Angeles Basin, scientists said at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, the US.

The increased threat assessment was made possible by extremely accurate terrain aerial mapping with synthetic aperture radar conducted by a team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) just days after the earthquake. Because a baseline map of the same region had been made only months before, it was possible to compare the two and spot surface motions as small as a few millimetres, not only immediately after the earthquake, but also in the following weeks.

What the scientists saw was that strain propagated north, onto the Ellsinore Fault, which leads into Los Angeles and the San Jacinto Fault, which threatens the eastern part of the Los Angeles Basin near San Bernardino.

Source: Nature