It seems to me that if we have learned anything at all during the past few decades about earthquake processes in the eastern United States, it's that there is no simple relationship between faults and earthquakes in this region. Yet, once a month or so, I am contacted by people who want to know about particular “earthquake faults” either located near their homes or that they heard run through major eastern cities. When an eastern earthquake occurs, I am invariably asked, “Where is the nearest fault?” No matter how hard I try to convince people that the distance to the...

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