Explosive West L.A. Earthquake Fault Leaking, Could Cut Down To Mantle

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Geologists and researchers at UC Santa Barbara are issuing a dire warning that a often forgotten L.A. earthquake fault is “leaking” and could cause an earthquake of unprecedented proportions.  Often, The Hollywood Fault is discussed when talking about the so-called “big one” hitting Southern California.  However, the Newport-Inglewood-Fault, which runs through the western portion of the city limits of Los Angeles is what has scientists concerned.

A new study has discovered high levels of the explosive helium-3 leaking from the Southern California’s earthquake fault zone which appeared deeper and more significant than had been previously thought.

Curbed LA reports [1]:

[N]ew findings suggest the fault might be way deeper than previously thought and that it may be the ancient collision site of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates, says the UC Santa Barbara Current [2], the university’s official news site.

The revelation comes from UCSB geologist Jim Boles, who took samples from 24 oil wells along a 30-mile section of the fault (it runs from Costa Mesa to Culver City, traveling through Inglewood, Gardena, Compton, Signal Hill, Long Beach, Seal Beach, and Huntington Beach, and is marked by a string of low hills [3]). Over a third of the samples indicated high levels of “primordial” helium-3, a remnant of the Big Bang whose only source on Earth is in the mantle, which lies under the Earth’s crust.


(Scientists also analyzed the carbon dioxide in the samples, and found it too was from the mantle.) If that leaked helium-3 is coming from the mantle, it suggests that the Newport-Inglewood Fault is a lot deeper than scientists thought and is in fact “directly or indirectly connected with the mantle.” That’s especially incredible because the fault “maintains a significant pathway through the crust,” as Boles puts it; that is, it appears to cut all the way from the mantle (or close to it) up to the surface of the Earth where we can see it in those hills.

RT News also reporting on the recent study, added [4]:

One of the deadliest earthquakes along the Newport-Inglewood fault was the Long Beach earthquake, which occurred on March 10, 1933. It registered a magnitude 6.3 killing 115 people. It also was the second most deadly earthquake in California history, after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Meanwhile, a recent study made by American seismologists said that a major earthquake – called “the Big One” – is statistically almost certain in California in the coming decades. They added that it is likely to be followed by a “super cycle” – a series of similar-sized temblors.



[1] http://la.curbed.com/archives/2015/06/newport_inglewood_fault_deep.php

[2] http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2015/015530/deep-dark-mystery

[3] http://scedc.caltech.edu/significant/newport.html

[4] http://rt.com/usa/270826-us-helium-fault-california/

Royce Christyn
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