Quake researchers look deep inside fault with cold war-era gravity sensor
Using classified technology developed by the military during the Cold War, a team of geoscientists led by Rice Universitys Manik Talwani is conducting a first-of-its-kind experiment on Californias famed San Andreas fault this week. The researchers will gather data that could give scientists a much clearer picture of the faults "gouge zone," a region 2-3 kilometers beneath the earth consisting of gravel-sized rock that is created when continental plates grind against one another.
Little data has been collected on the deep underlying structures of fault lines because its very expensive to drill deep wells and install instruments that far below ground. This weeks experiments take advantage of extremely sensitive gravity instruments that will be flown over the site in an airplane. By taking to the air, Talwani and his colleagues will be able to cover a 100-square kilometer region of the San Andreas near the town of Parkfield, in central California.
Jade Boyd | EurekAlert!
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