Mojave Desert rupture left by 7.1-magnitude quake is visible from space


Deputies had discovered the body of the 56-year-old on Tuesday on his property in Pahrump, Nevada, about 180 miles (290 km) northeast of the California city of Ridgecrest that took the brunt of the quakes.

A 6.4-magnitude quake struck around 10:30 a.m. on the Fourth of July near Ridgecrest, California, with its impact felt about 180 miles away in Pahrump. US Geological Survey (USGS) data suggests the magnitude-7.1 quake was one of the largest to hit the region in some 40 years.

The latest earthquakes have raised fears of when the next "big one" will hit California.

The NASA Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team used sophisticated synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data from the ALOS-2 satellite to produce a map showing surface displacement from the California earthquakes.

And the "noisy" areas in the northwest indicates where the ground surface was disturbed.

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The United States Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake occurred at a depth of about 8 kilometres, and was the result of strike-slip faulting (plates grinding against each other in a roughly horizontal fashion) at a juncture of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates known as the Eastern California shear zone.

The cause of the quake swarm was not identified, but Robert Graves, from the USGS, said this sort of event was not uncommon because of the geology of the region: "We live in an natural disaster country, so these earthquakes in and of themselves are not going to cause any damage, but it's certainly a chance for people to take a look at their emergency supplies", he was quoted as saying.

The before-and-after images come from July 4 and July 6 and show a significant surface rupture near the earthquakes' epicentre.

The earthquakes caused a number of minor injuries but no deaths.