Big one fears: 3,000 earthquakes strike California after 6.9 quake | World | News

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Scientists believe there will be more than 30,000 tremors above magnitude 1 over the next few weeks, Science Alert has reported. The area near Ridgecrest in southern California was rocked by the massive quake on July 4, before another 7.1 quake hit the next day. Since then, 3,000 earthquakes have been recorded, with 340 of them stronger than a magnitude of 3.

Pasadena-based geophysicist Glenn Biasi told Live Science: “The earthquakes of the 4th and 5th occurred in what we call a fault zone where many individual faults are active. 

“Many are short, and because they are buried, we probably do not know them all.”

Even though there are more quakes to come, they will have a magnitude of less than one percent, according to the US Geological Survey.

Scientists added the cause of the quakes last week were “complex”.

The were deemed strike-slip earthquakes, which means that instead of one plate moving on top of another, they both move horizontally next to each other.

The shocks occurred in a series of cracks on the North American plate, which clashed with the Pacific plate as it moved north west.

Live Science then added the plate is criss-crossed with short faults on more than one plane and the quakes then happened at different depths.

The first 6.4 earthquake was caused by two sections of faults breaking at the same time.

Then the broken segments cut across each other at a right angle.

Zachary Ross, a geophysicist at California Institute of Technology, told National Geographic: “Historically, the thought has been that earthquakes occurred on individual faults.

“And then over time, as the data has gotten better and better, we’ve started to realise that there’s potential for multiple faults to rupture for single events.”



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