"Southern California is a giant jigsaw puzzle, and scientists are now using GPS satellites to track the pieces. These puzzle pieces are continuously moving, slowly straining the faults in between. That strain is then eventually released in earthquakes. The innovative Southern California Integrated GPS Network (SCIGN) tracks the motions of these pieces over most of southern California with unprecedented precision. This new network greatly improves the ability to assess seismic hazards and quickly measure the larger displacements that occur during and immediately after earthquakes."
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/