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DIFFERENCE MAKER: Columbia seismologists study New York and New Jersey fault lines

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SA: Hours after the 4.8 magnitude Tewksberry, New Jersey earthquake shook the northeast from Virginia to Maine, Columbia geologist Folarin Kolawole was at the epicenter near the well known Ramapo Fault but he discovered, it wasn't the Ramapo that slipped. Is there a name for this fault?

FK: Well no name, we are giving it the name Mountainville fault

SA: Mountainville fault, so this is . . .

FK: . . . because that's the only location where you can actually see it 

SA: . . . a newly designated 

FK: Exactly, yes

SA: I mean it's been there for millions of years

FK: 100 percent, right 

SA: But this is the first time we've identified it and given it a name?

FK: That is correct

SA: Kolawole looks for cracks in surface rocks, evidence of ancient earthquakes together with seismologists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, they're studying several faults in the region like the one that goes right across Harlem

FK: If the 125th street fault breaks, even if it breaks at magnitude 5 or even 4.8, like the one in Tewksberry, I think that might be very bad for the Manhattan area

SA: Columbia seismologists have recorded hundreds of after shocks from the New Jersey earthquake. They're looking for patterns, clues that might point to the likelihood of future events

FK: I wouldn't say people should start to panic or whatever no, what I desire is for people to be aware that we're in an area that is seismic reactive, it's constantly moving and we have hot spots around here of seismic activity that requires monitoring

SA: At Lamont-Doherty in Rockland County, Sean Adams WCBS 880 News

Photo: Residents and police gather outside of homes that were structurally damaged and had to be evacuated after New York City and parts of New Jersey experienced a 4.8 magnitude earthquake on April 05, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. There were no reported injuries in the late morning earthquake, but many people reported visible shaking in buildings and homes. Tremors were felt from Philadelphia to Boston. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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