New Quake Fault Named Polaris Discovered In California By Scientists Of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

By on Jun 17, 2011 in Environment, Natural Disasters, Science, United States, World Comments

A new quake fault that could produce up to 6.5 to 6.9 magnitude earthquake was discovered in California, international news sites reported on Thursday, June 16, 2011.

The fault is named Polaris after the mining town it runs through, which is located in the remote northeastern portion of California near the Nevada border, reports said. It was said to be 22 miles long.

Polaris Fault
The Polaris Fault
Credit: U.S. Geological Survey (BSSA/USGS/USACE)

The Polaris Fault was discovered by scientists of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers while evaluating the Martis Creek Dam near the town of Truckee. Using laser imaging technology known as LiDAR, the scientists found evidence of the fault located just 200 meters fom the dam.

“We weren’t expecting it at all,” Lewis Hunter, a senior geologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, reportedly told OurAmazingPlanet.

According to Hunter, if the water levels of the dam were higher than usual, a very big earthquake could potentially flood a portion of Reno, due to the fault’s location which is between the dam and its spillway. The water levels are now kept as low as possible, reports said.

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