Helium suggests California fault is much deeper than previously thought

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A team led by a scientist from the University of California Santa Barbara have discovered that helium is leaking from an ancient fault line which suggests it is much deeper than previously thought.

The helium leak was discovered along a stretch of the Newport-Inglewood fault that runs from LA’s westside to Newport Beach in Orange County.

Samples of casing gases taken from two dozen oil wells along the fault line showed high levels of Helium 3, a gas whose only terrestrial source is the Earth’s mantle.

The metamorphic rock blueschist rock was also found at the bottom of nearby wells indicating that the Newport-Inglewood fault was a subduction zone around 30 million years ago before the intersection jumped 40 miles east to the San Andreas fault.

The study’s lead geologist Jim Boles said the results of the study indicate that the Newport-Inglewood fault is much more important than previously thought, although as of now they are not sure why.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Location of the Newport-Inglewood fault
2. Depiction of casing gas samples from oil wells along the fault line
3. The Earth’s mantle as the source of Helium 3
4. Blueschist indicating the Newport-Inglewood fault as an ancient subduction zone

VOICEOVER (in English):
“The Helium leak was discovered along a stretch of the Newport-Inglewood fault that runs from LA’s westside to Newport Beach in Orange County.”

“Samples of casing gases taken from two dozen oil wells along the fault line showed high levels of Helium 3, a gas whose only terrestrial source is the Earth’s mantle.

“The metamorphic rock blueschist rock was also found at the bottom of nearby wells indicating that the Newport-Inglewood fault was a subduction zone around 30 million years ago before the intersection jumped 40 miles east to the San Andreas fault.”

SOURCES: The Current
http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2015/015530/deep-dark-mystery