New Mexico Is Stretching

New Mexico – Researchers say the Earth's crust in New Mexico is stretching at a rate of an inch of east-west growth every 40 years.

The Albuquerque Journal reports ( that scientists have long suspected this was happening because of the way the Rio Grande Rift splits the state down the middle.

The rift, a tear in the Earth's crust, defines the state's central mountain chain and the valley the Rio Grande now follows.

Colorado geophysicist Henry Berglund, the lead author of a paper outlining these findings in a recent issue of the journal Geology, says until scientists began collecting data from their monitoring network back in 2006, they had no idea how widespread the stretching was.


Information from: Albuquerque Journal,

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.