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Earthquake Fault Zones

TitleEarthquake Fault Zones
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at
Date Original2005-06-27
Summary/DescriptionLake Tahoe Report Segment #126 - "Fault Zones" (Air Date: July 19, 2005). Richard Schweickert, Geology Professor at the University of Nevada, discusses an earthquake fault mapping project.
SubjectFault zones -- Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
Earthquake hazard analysis -- Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
LocationLake Tahoe (Calif. and Nev.)
Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
CollectionThe Lake Tahoe Report
Original PublisherLake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (
Electronic PublisherUniversity of Nevada, Reno - Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Ordering and Permissions InformationFor more information, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, or 775-832-4138.
Date Digital2006-02-15
RelationRequires Windows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionSegment 126: Fault Zones Air Date: July 19, 2005 Suggested Tease: The ground has been shaking up in the Lake Tahoe area. As it turns out, large quakes near Lake Tahoe aren't all that unusual. Shelly Purdy takes a look at the many faults that crisscross the lake coming up in this week's Lake Tahoe Report. Anchor Intro: When a 4.8 (??check final magnitude) magnitude earthquake rocked the north shore of Lake Tahoe last month, it got a lot of people talking. Come to find out, Tahoe has many earthquake faults that run through and around the lake. Shelly Purdy takes a look in tonight's Lake Tahoe Report. ((TAKE PKG)) ((track 1)) The earthquake was centered near Truckee about 3 miles east of the Truckee airport. In the past 6 years, there have been three large quakes in that same area, leading geologists to recognize that it is a very seismically active region. ((sot @ 8:06 Richard Schweickert, Ph.D., UNR Geology Professor)) "We don't have an explanation of why there is a fair amount of seismicity up in this area where the faults are poorly known and there doesn't seem to be much activity in the lake where the faults are much more obvious." ((track 2)) The faults that run through and around Lake Tahoe are so well documented thanks to the efforts of a small group of UNR researchers. ((sot @ 8:48)) "We've spent a great deal of time hiking all the mountains, hiking all the canyons, going through all the dense brush. Of course, driving all the mountain roads, and looking at all the various rocks that occur and looking at the landscape and seeing where there are breaks in the land's surface." ((Track 3)) When they began mapping Tahoe's faults about 10 years ago. The researchers didn't think they'd find all that many. In the past decade, they have successfully mapped several undiscovered faults and believe there are many others yet to be found. ((sot @ 11:20)) "In many places you can walk along a hillside and see a very smooth land surface and has a very uniform slope and then suddenly it will step down. Maybe it'll step down three feet. Maybe 30 feet and then the land surface will continue. So, when you see that large step you can follow it out as a long linear trace and that's usually what marks a fault. ((track 4)) Mapping earthquake faults is a time-consuming process, but an important one. Knowing where earthquake faults are helps planners be prepared for possible geologic hazards in a region. With the Lake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition, I'm Shelly Purdy for KOLO News channel 8. Anchor Tag: The earthquake last month near Truckee happened in an area of private property where researchers have been denied access to map the fault lines.

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