Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mapping El Mayor - Cucapah fault rupture

The April 4, 2010 M7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in Baja ruptured the surface for 60 miles (100 km) prompting a number of field studies. NASA's Earth Science Picture of the Day for Sept. 16 shows a team investigating the rupture:

In August, a team of geologists from CICESE (Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada), USGS, Caltech (California Institute of Technology) and other organizations spent five days mapping and measuring the fault. Much of this was done by flying teams in by helicopter and dropping them off along the main scarp. Water and emergency supplies were also brought in since it was hot -- 115 F (46 C) by mid afternoon. In this picture, the main scarp is seen along with three geologists. Here the scarp is about five feet (1.5 m ) high, dramatically attesting to the amount of energy it took to shift that much rock along many miles. Further from the epicenter, the scarps grew smaller, in some places being only 1 in (2.5 cm) in height. Photo taken on August 10, 2010.

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