LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- To understand earthquakes, you need to understand what a fault is. A fault is a crack or section of cracks in the earth's surface.
The San Andreas fault is the most well-known fault in the country and is about 200 miles from Las Vegas.
When an earthquake happens, there is a sudden movement in the fault. The result is the shaking we feel.
The length of a fault can vary, from the size of an ant to hundreds of miles long. According to geologists, there's no perfect science when it comes to fault size and intensity. It comes down to three factors:
- Length of the fault;
- Depth of the fault;
- The amount the fault moves.
In Nevada there are 1,500 active faults. Nevada is one of the most active regions in the country. Nevada ranks in the top three, behind California and Alaska, for states that have experience the largest quakes over the last 150 years.
To find out if you're living next to a fault in Southern Nevada, visit this website and type in your address to see what faults are near you.