Hundreds upon hundreds of earthquakes have suddenly rumbled beneath an area 6 miles to the southwest of Hawthorne, Nevada, just during the past few days. Seismologists are expressing concern of this sudden activity partially because it is occurring on a previously unknown fault – similar to what happened not long ago in New Zealand, Chile, Haiti, Baha, and Japan.
There is further concern due to the fairly large magnitude of many quakes, lots being in the 4 range while the largest has been a 4.6 so far in this swarm event. Nevada Seismologists apparently have no way of knowing if this will lead to a big quake.
Given the volcanic activity in the region during the past 10,000 years, seismologists are looking for tell-tale signs (tremor). A new volcano on the border of Nevada / California would be an interesting situation indeed. They say though that this activity may be tectonic, but they are checking all scenarios.
Having a look at the entire list of earthquakes at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, most of the depths are approximately in the 3 – 10km range, more or less. The USGS list indicates depths closer to 15km while the USGS list itself has recorded only a fraction of the total number of earthquakes reported at the University of Nevada site.
The location is curiously close to a dormant Super Volcano, Long Valley – California, just 45 miles away. In fact there is a string of volcanoes there, Mono Lake volcanic field – Mono Craters, Long Valley, Inyo Craters, and Mammoth Mountain. The region has a rich history of volcanic activity including planet wide consequences such as when Long Valley covered most of the western United States in thick ash.
In either case, be it volcanic or tectonic activity in western Nevada, people need to be prepared and aware of what is happening around them. Even the local seismologists are saying to have a supply of food and water at the ready, as earthquakes can happen just about anywhere.
We have witnessed a tremendous number of powerful and very deadly earthquakes during just the past few years. The last one near Japan was of such great magnitude and significance that it reminds us of the fact that we’re living on top of a thin crust that can snap at any moment – and where just a few miles down much of it is molten. Unimaginable stresses are built up all over the various tectonic plates which are essentially floating and jostling around above a semi fluid sea of hot thick molten rock.
Update, 19-Apr-2011, 1530 UTC
The swarm continues – 67 earthquakes during the past 24 hours as of this moment.
Map of Nevada Earthquake Swarm
Copyright © 2010-2011 Modern Survival Blog