Earthquake news: NASA and USGS discover ‘domino-like’ sequence of Ridgecrest ruptures | Science | News

The collaborative study depicts the sequence of an earthquake is far more complex than expected.

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Major earthquakes were previously thought to be triggered by the rupture of a single long fault, such as the more than 800 mile-long (1,300km) San Andreas fault, with the maximum possible magnitude dictated primarily by the length of the fault.

But seismologists began rethinking the model following the large 1992 earthquake in Landers, California which ruptured several faults.

The Ridgecrest sequence involved about 20 previously undiscovered, smaller faults crisscrossing in a geometrically complex and geologically young fault zone.

Professor Ross added: ”We actually see that the magnitude 6.4 quake simultaneously broke faults at right angles to each other, which is surprising because standard models of rock friction view this as unlikely.”

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