Up from the ground come a bubblin’…Helium?

Sometimes critical news is easy to miss. The days of relying solely on the daily paper and the evening network news for the latest information have disappeared. Nowadays, with e-news and e-gossip coming at us at lighting speed, it’s tough to know if perhaps critical information didn’t make it through to the folks who need to know.

Take this article for instance: Helium Leaking from Earth in Southern California

I am a southern California resident. I never saw nor heard this story on any of the local outlets. Should I be worried about helium leakage near my home? Does it matter?

The Newport-Inglewood fault runs from Culver City to Newport Beach. Check out the map of the area:


My guess is there are a whole lot of people living in this region. Now scientists can’t say if or how this new discovery, of helium gas at a relatively shallow depth along a good portion of the fault line, changes how we look at the earthquake threat in the region, but my guess is it has to mean something.

Helium is found at the earth’s mantle, WAY down deep in the ground. The Newport-Inglewood fault has been thought to be a remnant of a prehistoric subduction fault, but nobody thought that the fault connected all the way down to the area of the mantle.

Most certainly science will continue to reveal surprising information about earthquake faults, and no doubt such revelations will change the manner and location in which we construct buildings. Then again, based on recent history, maybe not!