On Thursday, scientists released a study warning that the Garlock fault, which runs through the Mojave Desert in southern California, has been moving for the first time on record. [4] The most recent notable event in the Garlock Fault Zone was a magnitude 5.7 near the town of Mojave on July 11, 1992. Research has pinned the interval between significant ruptures on the Garlock as being anywhere between 200 and 3,000 years, depending on the segment of the fault. On Thursday, scientists released a study warning that the Garlock fault, which runs through the Mojave Desert in southern California, has been moving for the first time on record. California has experienced a small spate of seismic activity in recent weeks, which has coincided with the 30th anniversary of the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake that damaged the Bay Bridge in 1989. "It's up to all of us to be prepared.". Even if the earthquakes were to trigger more creeping, that wouldn't necessarily spell disaster. Those quakes - a 6.4-magnitude temblor on July 4, followed by a 7.1-magnitude quake the next day - originated along two other fault lines nearby. These facts, along with the freshness of scarps left behind from previous ruptures and the on-going seismicity associated with the fault zone, leave little doubt that the Garlock fault zone will rupture again in the future. The bulging of the Garlock fault line in California can be seen from space and it's moving in ways never seen before, raising the question for Californians if it raises the risk of "The Big One." Wendy Bohon, a geologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, told Business Insider that these recent earthquakes are "nothing to be overly concerned about," though. So when researchers detected strange seismic activity along a major California fault line this week, it prompted a familiar question: Is the Big One coming? After the 2019 events, a very shallow portion of the Garlock slipped slowly, a process known as ‘creep’, perhaps in response to the stress imparted by the Ridgecrest earthquakes, or perhaps due to the ground shaking. The Garlock Fault moves at a rate of between 2 and 11 mm a year, with an average slip of around 7 millimeters. In fact, the Hollister earthquake occurred near "the creeping section" of the San Andreas Fault, she added. [5] It is thought to have been triggered by the Landers earthquake, just two weeks earlier. The fault is capable of producing a magnitude 8 earthquake, though it's currently moving at a slow, continuous pace - a process known as "creeping". The Garlock fault hasn’t ruptured in a … "But the effect of the stress change caused by those two earthquakes is pretty minimal.". Researchers were able to spot the creeping along the Garlock fault using satellite radar imagery, which can detect movements in the Earth from space. These include the Hayward fault in the east side of San Francisco Bay, the Calaveras fault just to the south, the creeping segment of the San Andreas fault in central California, and part of the Garlock fault in southern California. Relatively few communities lie directly along the Garlock, as it is primarily situated in the desert, with Frazier Park, Tehachapi, Mojave, and Johannesburg being the closest to it. While most of the fault is locked, certain segments have been shown to move by aseismic creep, which is motion without resulting earthquakes. "Creep is our friend," he said. "Earthquakes, both large and small, are part of life in California," Bohon said. Scientists expect to experience this "Big One" in their lifetimes - though they're not sure where or when. The northeast- to east-striking Garlock fault of southern California is a major strike-slip fault with a left-lateral displacement of at least 48 to 64 km. 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