Drilling to a fault

Scientists are drilling a 4 km borehole on a cattle ranch near Parkfield, Calif., in an attempt to drill directly to the hypocenter of a zone of recurring microearthquakes in the center of the San Andreas fault zone.The San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) project will cost about $20 million, funded entirely by the National Science Foundation. SAFOD is part of the $200 million, 5 year instrumentation set up for EarthScope (www.earthscope.org), a project focused on North American tectonics.The SAFOD project has three major stages, run by principal investigators from Stanford University and the US Geological Survey. The project seeks to answer questions about the "physical and che...

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