Radar image of the Los Angeles Basin
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA

Los Angeles Heading for the Hills
News story originally written on October 28, 1998

Scientists have discovered that downtown and West Los Angeles appear to be moving about one-fifth of an inch per year toward the San Gabriel Mountains.

The measurements were made using the Southern California Integrated Global Positioning System Network (SCIGN), a network of GPS satellites that can detect tiny movements in earthquake faults across Southern California. The system uses radio signals from 24 different GPS satellites to pinpoint the locations of ground receiver stations within 0.4 inches. There are currently about 60 receiver stations in the greater Los Angeles area; ultimately there will be 250 stations.

"We've known for some time that the area between the coastline and the Mojave Desert is being squeezed together by the constant movement of the Earth's crust," said Dr. Donald Argus, a geophysicist at JPL.

The project is designed to monitor the slow, small movement of the ground in Southern California. "This research helps us learn where earthquakes are more likely to happen, and helps with estimating the regional earthquake hazard in Southern California," said Dr. Dr. Frank Webb, chair of the SCIGN.
Last modified February 26, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more

Planetary Alignment 2002

In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA