A California fault capable of producing devastating earthquakes is moving for the first time on record.
In a new study published on Thursday in the journal Science, Caltech scientists alongside NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory found that a portion of the 160-mile long Garlock fault, which runs on the northern edge of the Mojave Desert, shifted after a sequence of earthquakes in the nearby Ridgecrest area in California disturbed it. According to the scientists, the Garlock fault has slipped two centimetres at the surface since July.
The Garlock fault is in a precarious location that makes it capable of producing magnitude 8 quakes. If Garlock starts quaking, it could shake nearby oil and agriculture regions in California, as well as military bases, the Los Angeles Times notes.