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Digging to a fault zone-2miles down.

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posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:14 PM

PARKFIELD, California (AP) -- Geologists drilling a borehole into the San Andreas Fault to better understand the physics of earthquakes have hit a seismically active section of the fault for the first time.

The scientists, who began drilling in 2004, finally entered the fault zone about two miles below the surface of the Earth on Tuesday. The entire borehole will be covered with steel and cement at the end of the month so scientists can later install instruments to measure future temblors.

"It's the first time we've been inside the earthquake machine," said Bill Ellsworth, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park.

The drilling is part of a project, known as the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth, to rig a patch of private ranchland near Parkfield with instruments to observe earthquakes up close and to better understand what happens during stress buildup in the ground.

Parkfield is one of the world's most seismically active areas.

Parkfield -- located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles -- straddles the San Andreas Fault, which is the meeting of the Pacific and North American plates as they grind along 800 miles through the state.

Shouldn't they be afraid that just by digging this 2 mile hole it could trigger something.

Original article can be seen here

posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:33 PM
Interesing article. The scientists are probobly drilling very carfully, because it said that they began the drilling in 2004. I hope they are, because I dont want another earthquake here (I live by LA).

posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:38 PM
I am sure they are being careful since they began in 2004, however, the timing of them reaching the zone does make me ponder if it is possible for humans to set off the big quake vs nature this time.

posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:40 PM
To be fair it's no more likely to casue an earthquake than drilling a small hole in a wall is going to make the house collapse.
Humans are often good at being arrogant about how much they think some of their actions affect things while underestimating less obvious repercussions of other acts.

Hopefully the data acquired from this exercise will help us develop a more accurate early warning system and we will be able to help diminish the number of deaths caused by earthquakes.

posted on Aug, 5 2005 @ 02:42 PM
One more thing. How can this thing stay structurally sound without collapsing in on itself during seismic activity. Seems a little dangerous. Would be kind of cool to drop a camera down and see the movements of the rock though if that would even be possible.

posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 05:36 PM
well one reason it staying like it is it is verry hard ground. my dad works at a rock pit that goes down how far im not shure and the rock walls are like steal. so i doubt it will cave in.


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