- Indicates Newport-Inglewood fault more important than previously thought
- Risk in the next 30 years of ‘big one’ increased from about 4.7% to 7.0%
- However, study says risk of smaller quakes has actually gone down
A huge fault in the Earth’s crust near Los Angeles is leaking helium, researchers have found.
They say the unexpected find sheds new light on the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone in the Los Angeles Basin.
It reveals the fault is far deeper than previously thought, and a quake would be far more devastating.
It follows a report from the U.S. Geological Survey has warned the risk of ‘the big one’ hitting California has increased dramatically. Continue reading
The study, to be published Friday in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, examined data over seven years from 2003 from a pair of gravity-measuring satellites which is part of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment or GRACE. Researchers found freshwater reserves in parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins had lost 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of its total stored freshwater, the second fastest loss of groundwater storage loss after India.
About 60 percent of the loss resulted from pumping underground reservoirs for ground water, including 1,000 wells in Iraq, and another fifth was due to impacts of the drought including declining snow packs and soil drying up. Loss of surface water from lakes and reservoirs accounted for about another fifth of the decline, the study found. Continue reading