More than 50 new earthquake faults discovered in California

09:39, April 29, 2010      

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In a bid to help guide future emergency planning, the California Geological Survey (CGS) has added more than 50 new surface earthquake faults to a new state map, it was reported on Wednesday.

The state's fault activity map is the first in 16 years and offers a sober reminder of California's quake risks, the Los Angeles Times said. The new faults range from small ones that don't pose much threat for major temblors to very large ones, like that responsible for the 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake that shook Southern California in 1999, according to the paper.

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.

"I think every classroom in California should have these maps on the wall," said seismologist Lucy Jones at the California Institute of Technology. "I don't think we do enough to educate the general public about these features. We turn it into something for the specialists, as if science is only for scientists. But if you're going to buy a house, would you like to know what fault is under your house?"

The new maps point to a basic fact of seismology: The more scientists study quakes in California, the more faults - and dangers - they find, the paper quoted experts as saying.

"These maps are used to make a lot of other maps, to map landslides, areas where you have liquefaction because of earthquakes, for tsunami coastal mapping," state geologist John Parrish said.

"They can be used to make decisions on where to build schools and hospitals, where you need a higher standard of construction. They can tell you what kind of a surface you're building on, and how close you are to a fault."

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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