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01/04/2001 09:24 AM ID: 2436 Permalink   

LA Earthquake Risk Greater Than Expected


Geologists have discovered that the risk of earthquake in the San Gabriel Valley, near downtown L.A., is even higher than previously believed. This is because the layer of soft sediment the city is built on is 1.5 times thicker than anticipated.

During an earthquake, basins filled with so much sediment shake "like big bowls of Jello," said the lead seismologist of the study, Gary Fuis. The study also showed the presence of a large fault line in the area.

With the new information, scientists will be better able to predict earthquakes in the area. "We had no good idea of what the machinery down there driving earthquakes looks like," Fuis said. "Now we think we have a picture of how it all works."

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