It’s all too perfect that there is new, creepy activity happening in the California fault lines just before Halloween.
Recent California Earthquakes
In recent weeks, California has had an uptick in seismic activity, some of which experts have linked to a creeping section of the San Andreas fault system. Most recently, Pleasant Hill and Hollister both experienced magnitude 4.5 and 4.7 earthquakes, respectively.
To have two 4.5 magnitude quakes in one week in California is a little unusual.
New Movement in the Fault Lines
At the same time, for the first time on record, the Garlock Fault has been moving. This fault houses the potential to produce a magnitude 8 earthquake, and this “creeping” is a by-product of the Ridgecrest earthquakes in July. With the heightened concern about the San Andreas faultline and the “Big One” coming, new or unprecedented activity is enough to catch the attention of seismic experts.
The Garlock Fault’s movement is known as “creep”: meaning that it is moving at a slow, continuous pace. Creep is typical among California faults, and creep could also trigger an earthquake nearby. The San Andreas fault has often had spells of creeping in reaction to other nearby earthquakes. Scientists are especially concerned about the San Andreas’s potential for disaster, but that’s not to say it’s the only cause for concern.
Can creeping fault lines cause earthquakes?
Fault lines are more closely tied together than you would imagine. A seismic event can ripple out and influence the delicate web of fault lines around it. Earthquakes of all sizes are a reality for California life, and what could set off the domino effect is unclear. This rise in seismic activity serves as an important reminder:
It’s best to assume the Big One could happen at any time, and it’s essential to be ready for it.