A fault line in the earth's crust in Los Angeles is leaking helium, a geologist from the UC Santa Barbara said, according to Daily Mail.
Professor Jim Boles and his team were looking into sample gases between Los Angeles and Orange County and found evidence of a helium leak along the Newport-Inglewood fault. It is estimated to stretch at least 30 miles.
"The results are unexpected for the area, because the L.A. Basin is different from where most mantle helium anomalies occur," said the geologist. "The Newport-Inglewood fault appears to sit on a 30-million-year-old subduction zone, so it is surprising that it maintains a significant pathway through the crust," Boles added.
The Newport-Inglewood fault, first discovered after an earthquake in the 1920s, is a 47 mile stretch from Culver City to Newport Beach. On the earth's surface, it is the region of hills from Signal Hill to Culver.
The geologists were able to examine 24 gas samples from the area and discovered that these contain high levels of 3He and CO2. Further analysis showed that because of the CO2 presence in the mantle, the leak has been confirmed as coming from the earth's core.
"About 30 million years ago, the Pacific plate was colliding with the North American plate, which created a subduction zone at the Newport-Inglewood fault," Boles further explained. "Then somehow that intersection jumped clear over to the present San Andreas Fault, although how this occurred is really not known.
"Our findings indicate that the Newport-Inglewood fault is a lot more important than previously thought, but time will tell what the true importance of all this is."
This revelation comes as the U.S. Geological Survey warned the public of the increased dangers of "the big one" hitting the region. The chances of a magnitude 8 earthquake taking place has risen from 4.7 percent to 7 percent, according to Yahoo. It is projected to happen within 30 years.
The geologists' discovery was presented in the Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-Cubed), the journal of the American Geophysical Union and the Geochemical Society.