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New Jersey earthquake potential ill-defined fault lines ExBulletin

New Jersey earthquake likely caused by ancient fault line. More earthquakes expected. Scientists working to pinpoint origin. East Coast risks unknown.

The seismic event that occurred under New Jersey on Friday morning was likely caused by an ancient fault line that had been dormant for years, suddenly awakened by geological forces in a region not known for earthquakes. The 4.8 magnitude quake was the strongest to hit the state in over 200 years, with aftershocks continuing to rattle the area.

Scientists are working to pinpoint the exact location of the fault that caused the earthquake, with some suspecting it may be part of the Ramapo Fault Zone in the Newark Basin. This fault system is complex and not fully understood, making it difficult to predict future seismic activity in the region.

Unlike the West Coast, where tectonic plates meet and create a clear seismic hazard, the Northeast's seismic risks are rooted in ancient faults that have persisted over time. Stress slowly builds up on these faults, occasionally causing slip and triggering earthquakes that can be felt over a wide area.

The recent earthquake serves as a reminder of the need to better understand seismic risks in the region. Funding cuts to seismic monitoring networks have hindered efforts to gather data and assess earthquake risks. However, scientists are working to deploy seismometers to record aftershocks and identify the main fault line responsible for the quake.

Overall, the earthquake highlights the importance of being prepared for natural disasters and ensuring that buildings are constructed to withstand seismic activity. While we may not be able to control the Earth's energy, we can take steps to mitigate the impact of future disasters.

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