(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.
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“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.”