General Question

kevbo's avatar

If an earthquake moves an entire city 10 feet in a given direction, how are property and boundary lines affected?

Asked by kevbo (24301 points ) March 8th, 2010 from iPhone

This article says that Concepcion, Chile was moved 10 ft west as a result of their most recent earthquake. Assuming surveying method and property law are similar to what you are familiar with and the city attempted to restore property lines and boundaries (such as protected open space borders, military zones, or wilderness areas), what would change, the survey lines or the earth underneath them?

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6 Answers

davidbetterman's avatar

If everything moved the same 10 feet there is no problem.

jrpowell's avatar

This is a good question. Take this for example. Assume the fence divides property. Would the neighbor now own your fence. I don’t know the answer but it is interesting.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

@johnpowell that’s really cool.

lillycoyote's avatar

It is a very interesting question. I can’t imagine the earthquake managed to move everything, neatly and tidily. I imagine it will take some sorting out over the next several years. Probably not a big deal, but the may very well effect some property line disputes.

Pseudonym's avatar

Well, the earthquake in ChilĂ© tilted the Earth almost three inches… Does that mean that I own the trash can?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

10 feet? Seriously?
I don’t know about Chile but in the US, property laws are pretty unforgiving of geological activity. If your house slides onto someone’s property, you’re in violation.

Hopefully in such event, your neighbor isn’t a complete douchetool and would opt not to take you to court in favor of a 6pack

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