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On July Fourth, the most powerful earthquake to hit Southern California in nearly 20 years struck a remote part of the Mojave Desert. A day later, an even larger temblor rocked the same area.
Though earthquakes beget earthquakes, there's generally thought to be just a 5% chance that one quake will be followed by an even more powerful one, according to geoscientists. But that wasn't the only unusual feature of this earthquake duo in SoCal. Turns out, the earthquakes ripped Earth in weird ways.
Magnitude-6 - Temblor - SoCal - Area - Time
The magnitude-6.4 temblor struck the sparsely populated SoCal area at 10:33 a.m. local time on July 4, about 122 miles (196 kilometers) north-northeast of Los Angeles and just 11 miles (18 km) east-northeast of Ridgecrest. That quake was followed by several aftershocks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Scientists warned that a powerful aftershock of the same magnitude or greater was a possibility. Just a day later, at 8:19 p.m. local time, a quake of magnitude 7.1 — which is 11 times more powerful than the July Fourth event — struck about 6.8 miles (11 km) northwest of its predecessor.
Susanne - Jänecke - Geoscientist - Utah - State
Susanne Jänecke, a geoscientist at Utah State University, described these fault systems as "hanging shoe organizers," where the sides, and tops and bottoms of the organizer would represent the various faults.
Here's where things get interesting: The 7.1-magnitude earthquake rattled a fault within the Little Lake fault zone — cracks in this spot near Ridgecrest tend to run in the northwest-southeast direction.
Earthquake - Thursday - July - Part
"The earthquake on Thursday [July 4] was more complex. And part of that smaller...
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