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Scientists convene at USGS to review effects of Napa Quake

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Scientists are meeting at the USGS headquarters to discuss what they've learned for the Napa Earthquake 11 days after the tremor jolted the region.

Scientists are meeting at the United States Geological Survey headquarters in Menlo Park to share what they've learned in the 11 days since the South Napa Earthquake and topics are ranging from the damage, to the prospect of a big aftershock.

Thursday's briefing at USGS is an opportunity for scientists to share information they've learned since the Aug 24 quake that damaged large parts of South Napa.

Researchers continue to study the quake's sequence, aftershock probabilities and the usefulness of an earthquake early warning system.

They're hoping to come away from Thursday's meeting with a more comprehensive understanding of what happened during the earthquake and since. Something of particular interest to this group of scientists is afterslip.

"Now we know exactly where this strand of the earthquake fault is and that will allow us to do follow up investigation to see how rapidly the fault is moving and that's very important for hazard assessment," said Tom Brocher, a seismologist with the USGS.

Scientists are still working in parts of Napa. They're spending a great deal of time modeling surface rupture and ground failure. They say by studying cracks in the ground it will lead to better maps of active faulting.

The 6.0 quake has provided an instant laboratory for geologists and seismologists, whose prior knowledge of the West Napa fault zone was sketchy at best.

One major take away for scientists is that the majority of buildings that were red tagged in Napa were unreinforced masonry buildings. This isn't new and it will continue to happen until something is done to either replace these buildings or strengthen them.
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