American geologists from the University of California have established that a previously non-dangerous 100-kilometer fault, which is located under the city of Santa Barbara (California), can cause a disaster. It will cause powerful earthquakes and tsunamis.
With the help of computer modeling and GPS positioning, scientists saw that the fault, called Ventura, goes into the Pacific Ocean and has a stepped structure. According to seismologists, such plate tectonics can lead to a natural disaster.
Geologists have known about the fault for a long time, but before it did not cause them concerns, since it was considered inactive. New computer models made it possible to study the structure of this formation more precisely, after which it became clear that the fault is not so harmless and can cause a devastating earthquake.
The total length of the fault is about one hundred kilometers. It passes near the cities of Ventura, Santa Barbara and Goleta, leaving for the Pacific Ocean. Because of this, scientists fear that in the event of an earthquake, the disaster may intensify and a devastating tsunami.
Previously, researchers believed that the fault was inactive, but recent observations have shown that it is extremely dangerous.
Scientists have modeled the shape of the fault on a computer, taking into account plate tectonics and seismic activity. It turned out that the fault is similar in structure to a ladder and is located closer to the surface of the earth than geologists thought.
This means that it can cause a strong earthquake up to 8 points on the Richter scale, which will turn into a catastrophe. Due to the fact that part of the fault is hidden under water, an earthquake can provoke a strong tsunami that will hit the coast.