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California Fault Capable of Massive 8 Magnitude Waking Up, Satellite Images Show

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California Fault Capable of Massive 8 Magnitude Waking Up, Satellite Images Show

The state of California is no stranger to earthquake fears, however, new satellite photography seems to show one of the state’s most deadly fault lines waking up. And that has residents statewide fearing for the worst.

The Garlock fault line isn’t known to many in a state hyper-focused on the more famous San Andreas fault, but it could turn out to be the more deadly result.

The Garlock fault stretches 160 miles across the northernmost part of the Mojave desert. In modern record-keeping, the fault has been completely dormant. It’s never moved an inch, at least as records show.

But now it’s starting to shuffle about, which has scientists worried that a potential 8 magnitude quake is on the horizon. 

“This is surprising, because we’ve never seen the Garlock fault do anything. Here, all of a sudden, it changed its behavior,” said the lead author of the study, Zachary Ross, assistant professor of geophysics at Caltech. “We don’t know what it means.”

Satellite images confirm that the fault is on the move. 

At “fault,” pun intended, may well be the recent Ridgequest earthquake that shook Los Angeles and Southern California more than it had been in two decades (the last large one prior to that was the Joshua Tree earthquake).

Cluster earthquakes have begun plaguing areas around Garlock faultline. 

Of course, earthquake science remains unstable (again, with the puns).

Garlock Fault Line ‘Fall Out’

garlock fault line californiaSo ‘what if’ the Garlock fault line slips and shimmies, unleashing devastating vibrations across the south part of the state?


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The impact would be calamitous, without question.

Ironically, that’s because the Garlock faul line erupting could trigger the San Andreas to fire. And that’s the core of the fear. 

All fault lines, including the San Andreas, do make small shifts and adjustments, particularly following larger earthquakes in the state or region. But the Garlock fault has been eerily quiet for centuries. Why is it suddenly awake?

The thought process is that the Ridgequest earthquake disrupted previously unknown fault lines, which placed it’s shaking close to Garlock. Ridgequest pushed a mass of land away from Garlock. This now allows Garlock to shift and sway more freely. The land mass was somewhat restricting Garlock’s ability to move. Now its as free as a bird. And it’s decided to take some test flights as a result. Garlock fault has now been captured moving both north and east, essentially widening.

The bigger story could be other fault lines in the state erupting. It appears, led by the Garlock fault, that the state’s web of fault lines is in a state of chaos and disruption. That’s going nowhere good.

Of course, if you ask me, the San Madrid seismic zone remains the scariest in the nation, and one of the scariest in the world. But most people know nothing about it. Those in the midwest should be prepped for it’s potential devastation. 

We also should be concerned with Oregon’s Cascadia Subduction zone, which could cause massive casualties as well. 

It’s always a good idea to make sure your preppers list is at least in motion.

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.




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