The Mw 6 Parkfield earthquake at 11:15 local time, 28 September 2004 has dealt a possibly fatal blow to the notion that significant surface slip precedes earthquakes. In 1966, anecdotal reports of surface fissures along the fault zone had been reported in the preceding week, and a water pipe fractured 11.6 hours before the mainshock. This offered hope that substantial surface slip may have occurred had displacement sensors been in place to measure it. In the days, hours, and minutes prior to the 2004 Parkfield mainshock, displacement sensors were in place, and nothing happened. According to data from eight...

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