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Only On 7: Scientists track quake, aftershocks in Napa

Scientists were out drilling holes in the ground around Napa on Thursday in the hopes of learning from Sunday's quake and the aftershocks.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
As crews are making repairs, scientists were out Thursday drilling holes in the ground around Napa. They're hoping to learn things from Sunday's earthquake and the aftershocks that could help all of us.

"We're chasing aftershocks," said scientific data specialist George Slad with Iris Passcal Instrument Center

Slad and U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Dr. Rufus Catchings are part of a team digging their way across Napa.

They're secretly planting devices that are designed to record and measure earthquakes and their aftershocks.

"Many earthquakes people don't feel, they're very very small," Slad said. "They can occur isolated or be in clusters or anything in between, they span the spectrum."

Now that they've found the epicenter of the 6.0 quake, scientist are using these sensors to measure how the ground moves -- up and down, left to right, and front to back. What they glean will teach others what to expect when a quake hits in Napa and beyond.

"We'll look back a year from now and know a lot more about these faults and the characteristics we're seeing now may explain something down the road," Slad said.

The tiny seismographs works like a recorder. The crews are burying them deep enough so that they can't be found unless you know where to look. They ask that if you come across one, to leave it alone.

"I appreciate, you know, their time and effort coming out here," said Napa resident Cole McDaniel. "You know, coming out every day, and checking out new things if there is any."

Cole, his dad Gary, and his son Jared felt the violent shake. The family of firefighters and first responders immediately turned to their training.

"It is a big learning experience, to be prepared for the worse," Cole said.

New data collected by scientists that may reveal more about when and where the big one will hit.
Related Topics:
science earthquake south napa earthquake state of emergency disaster prepare norcal power outage PG&E water main break gas leak construction Napa Vallejo American Canyon
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