Earthquake swarm intensifying in remote Nevada region
Friday, November 14, 2014, 6:11 PM - An earthquake swarm that has been rattling a remote area of Nevada since the summer has intensified this week, geologists announced Wednesday.
The swarm began on July 12 and is being caused by the stretching of the Earth's crust, The Nevada Seismological Laboratory says.
"Two 4.7 magnitude earthquakes and more than 50 3.0 or greater magnitude earthquakes mark an uptick in seismic activity one week after a 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck far northwest Nevada on Nov. 4, 2014," The agency writes in a statement.
"The activity in the past week is more than in previous months combined."
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Over the past week, seismologists have recorded six magnitude 4 earthquakes. There have been 101 tremors of a magnitude 3 or larger since July.
The shaking has been strong enough to be felt by residents, who experts say have been living with a "daily barrage" of M3 and M4 tremors for months.
While earthquake swarms are unusual, they do happen from time to time.
"The [current] activity resembles the 1968 Adel, Ore., swarm, which also lasted several months and included three events of approximately magnitude 5," the Nevada Siesmological Laboratory says.
"The Adel swarm caused moderate damage. Another comparison is the 2008 Mogul-Somersett swarm in northwest Reno that involved an increasingly vigorous series of earthquakes during a two-month period leading to a magnitude 5 event. The Mogul sequence also caused moderate local damage."
Officials say the swarms has slightly increased the possibility of a larger siesmic event.