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A series of faint surface lines observed on aerial photos in the vicinity of Bakersfield have long
been thought by the writer to be a clue to the existence of a system of closely spaced lateral fault traversing the area in a northwest direction. The remarkable broad parallelism of these surface features, together with their highly interrupted aspect and their commonly looped shapes, has led to much speculation regarding their significance and manner of origin. Although no positive relationship can be established, it has long been assumed that the steep horizontally slickensided fractures cored in widely scattered deep wells in this area, were of the same trend and system as the surface lines.
The initial earthquake of July 21, 1952, produced in the Bakersfield-Arvin area some surface features which are so favorably comparable with the older series of lines that there can be little doubt regarding their identical manner of origin. It is believed that during most of the Cenozoic there has been a recurrence of slight shifts on an ancient system of basement faults, with individual adjustments reflected at the ground surface as oriented shallow sloughs and lateral offsets.
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