Geology expert explains Texas fault lines - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Geology expert explains Texas fault lines

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Shaken by two earthquakes in a weeks time, many in East Texans are wondering will there be more, and is there the possibility of a big quake? An expert in the field who explains that , while there may be more, there should be no concern over a big one. Doctor Paul Buchanan of Kilgore college is a foremost geology expert, and has researched fault lines and volcano's from California to south America, and says the formula for earthquakes is fairly simple.

"The kind that we have is generally is thought to be a normal fault, which means this block moves down relative to the other block," he says.

"I worked on the San Andreas fault for about 5 or 6 years, we call them extensional forces build up tension, and that tension is relieved by the earthquakes, so you'll get a period where it'll build up tension it'll have to be relieved," Buchanan says.

1964, four East Texas quakes in 5 days. 1981 two more quakes, and 2012 this week 2 more. Buchanan says it does happen in cycles.

"Now these are different from the faults that we see in California that cause the major earthquake, and theirs usually a periodicity or a frequency to this kind of activity, these are relatively small faults," says Buchanan.

Could there be a big one on our horizon?

"One of the big areas earthquake researchers look at is periodicity, it would really be good if we knew how often these major quakes occurred.  Its highly unlikely we would have a major quake, normal faults sort of have lower magnitude quakes," Buchanan says.

So while quakes may be rare , they will happen but a little easier to live with in Texas.

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