(Fox News) A major southern California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 temblor started to move for the first time in 500 years following a series of earthquakes in the Mojave Desert over the summer, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science.
The study by geophysicists from the California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory found that the Garlock Fault – which runs east to west for 185 miles from the San Andreas Fault to Death Valley – has slipped .8 inches since July. This is the first movement documented on the fault in the modern historical record.
“This is surprising, because we’ve never seen the Garlock fault do anything. Here, all of a sudden, it changed its behavior,” Zachary Ross, assistant professor of geophysics at Caltech and lead author of the paper, told the Los Angeles Time. “We don’t know what it means.”
Advertisement - story continues below