The Newly Released Facts About Our Earthquake Faults

Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010  |  Updated 11:15 AM PDT
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The California Geological Survey's first new fault map in 16 years features more than 50 new faults in the Golden State.

The map, which had not been updated since 1994, was unveiled this week at The Tech Museum in San Jose. The Geological Survey also presented an updated version of a second map that identifies the makeup of rock and soil.

USGS scientists say they hope they will improve two things immediately: construction and quake readiness.  State geologist John Parrish said the maps can help guide decisions about where to build schools and hospitals and where construction standards need to be higher.

"I think every classroom in California should have these maps on the wall," Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones told the LA Times.

"I don't think we do enough to educate the general public about these features. We turn it into something for the specialists, as if science is only for scientist. But if you're going to buy a house, would you like to know what fault is under your house?" Jones said.

The map is available on the Survey's website.

  The 50 additional surface fault lines include some very large ones that could lead to major earthquakes.
     
The seismic map is the fourth to be released by the state.  The release is part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the USGS.

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