Mexico earthquake triggers ‘desert tsunami’ 1,500 miles away in Death Valley cave, scientists say
This undated photo provided by the California Geological Survey shows debris in the debris field left behind by the largest earthquake to strike California in recorded history. The 7.8-magnitude quake triggered a wave of temblors as far away as Death Valley, a scientific mystery some scientists say could make the region vulnerable to another mega quake. (Photo courtesy of California Geological Survey)
(CNN) — A massive quake in the California desert, some 400 miles south of the epicenter of last week’s magnitude 9.0 earthquake, sparked a series of tremors some 1,500 miles away in the Death Valley National Park and other parts of the park, according to NASA satellites and other monitoring sites.
The tremors in the remote California desert prompted the death of a local couple visiting the park and were detected by sensors in the area by a few hours after the earthquake hit, researchers said.
“This earthquake may have caused an oceanic event,” said Richard J. Allen, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who has studied the possibility of a quake-driven tsunami in the area.
This quake may have caused an oceanic event.
“The quake was relatively large and located in an area relatively flat,” Allen said in an interview conducted Friday. “You would expect it to cause some damage along the fault, and we are seeing the damage along the faults as predicted,” he said.
The 7.8 magnitude quake was centered about 400 miles southeast of the earthquake last week in Napa and Sonoma counties in California which has been described as one of the strongest in recorded history.
The epicenter was located off the southern edge of the state’s Central Valley, near the town of Amador.
“The epicenter of this earthquake is the Southern California portion of the San Andreas fault,” said Brian Smith, a seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey. “The fault in the area doesn’t have a major rupture. The shaking didn’t cause a tsunami, but it could have caused some damage to infrastructure along the fault.”
The quake triggered a wave of tremors as far away as the Death Valley National Park and other parts of Death Valley, a scientific mystery some scientists say could make the region vulnerable to