What is surface faulting or surface rupture in an earthquake?

Surface rupture occurs when movement on a fault deep within the earth breaks through to the surface. NOT ALL earthquakes result in surface rupture.

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Image: Surface Rupture in Northwest Saudi Arabia

Surface Rupture in Northwest Saudi Arabia

Wendy McCausland of the USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program and Hani Zahran of the Saudi Geological Survey view the southern end of the surface fault rupture caused by a M5.4 earthquake in the Saudi Arabian desert on May 19, 2009. The ground displacements in the soft sediments of the foreground are greater than in basement rocks of the background because sediments

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