Study: California's big July quakes strain major fault

Image: MGN -- The study was conducted by geophysicists from California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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LOS ANGELES (AP) Scientists say earthquakes that hammered the Southern California desert last summer involved ruptures on a web of interconnected faults and increased strain on a major nearby fault that has begun to slowly move.

Research published Thursday in the journal Science says the earthquake sequence ended a few miles from the Garlock Fault, which runs 185 miles (300 kilometers) from the San Andreas Fault to Death Valley.

The fault has been relatively quiet for 500 years but now has begun to creep.

The quakes began July 4 near Ridgecrest, about 120 miles (190 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.

A magnitude 6.4 foreshock was followed by a 7.1 mainshock and 100,000-plus aftershocks.

The study was conducted by geophysicists from California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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