An #earthquake swarm has kicked off southwest of the #SaltonSea today, producing 240 earthquakes as of 8pm Pacific. The largest earlier this evening was M4.9.
So what does this mean? We’ve put together some scenarios to explain what could happen next. usgs.gov/center-news/ea…
The most likely scenario is that the rate of earthquakes in the swarm will decrease over the next 7 days. Some additional moderate-sized earthquakes (M4.5 to 5.4) may occur. Smaller magnitude earthquakes (M3.0+) may be felt by people close to the epicenters.
A less likely scenario is a somewhat larger earthquake could occur (up to a M6.9). Earthquakes of this size could cause damage around the area close to the swarm and would be followed by aftershocks that would increase the number of smaller earthquakes per day.
The least likely scenario, compared to the other two scenarios, is that the ongoing swarm could trigger an earthquake significantly larger (M7.0 or above). While this is a low probability, if such an earthquake were to occur, it would have serious impacts for nearby communities.
No one can predict the exact time or place of any earthquake, including aftershocks or swarms. Our forecasts give us an understanding of the chances of having more quakes within a given time period in the affected area. One uncertain aspect of this swarm is how long it will last.
The chance of large earthquakes will remain elevated as long as the swarm continues. About half of the swarms in this area are over within a week. We will update our forecast as swarm activity increases or decreases, or if larger earthquakes occur. usgs.gov/center-news/ea…
We are carefully monitoring activity throughout the region and will continue to provide information to help people stay safe and care for themselves and each other. Info on the latest quakes is always posted on our “Latest Earthquakes” map: earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ma…

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More from @USGS_Quakes

Jan 26
Today marks the 322nd anniversary of the 1700 AD Cascadia earthquake – the largest known earthquake to have occurred in the "lower 48" United States.
This (estimated) magnitude 8-9 earthquake ruptured along the 1300-km-long Cascadia subduction zone which sits off the coast of northern California, Oregon and Washington. Topo-bathymetric map of the Cascadia subduction zone. Cascad
Here, the eastern margins and dense oceanic crust of the Gorda and Juan De Fuca plates meet their demise as they subduct beneath the lighter continental crust of the north American plate. Cross-section or side view schematic of the Cascadia Subduct
Read 9 tweets
Oct 14, 2021
An intro to earthquake prediction 🧵🧵

Individual earthquakes can’t be usefully predicted. It’s not because they’re mystical or magical. Earthquakes obey very simple physics. The issue is that earthquakes occur deep underground.
In California, earthquakes typically rupture faults at depths of ~10 mi (~15 km). We have no eyes on the fault at depth: can’t see what materials are in the fault, where they’re lubricated by fluids, how close any point is to failure, or how large an area might fail.
If you can’t see the fault at depth, you can’t directly predict what the fault will do. Instead some researchers try to correlate large quakes with other things like having small quakes – or maybe not having small quakes? It’s not clear that there is any predictive power here.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 1, 2021
**New publication alert**
What could happen to communication networks if a large #earthquake happened in the SF Bay Area, along the Hayward fault? 📞📱☎️📳
The new #HayWiredScenario chapter on telecommunications & ICT asks “what if” & explains why we should #TextNotTalk Map depicting SCENARIO distribution of shaking severity in a
Using proxies including power shutoffs, wildfires, & other earthquakes to model what happens to #telecom in a #HayWiredScenario, they found vulnerabilities in power service, cell sites on buildings and poles, and data lines crossing the fault surface rupture. Map of the San Francisco Bay region, California, showing fib
Contributing to the issue are multiple competitive service providers in a largely unregulated industry, convergence of analog and digital systems, layers of hardware and software functionality, dependence on electric power, and the rapid evolution of technology. Photo showing co-located electrical and telecom infrastructuThese photos show repair dependence between telecommunicatio
Read 9 tweets
Jul 9, 2021
Yesterday afternoon, just before 4 pm local time, a M6.0 earthquake occurred at the California-Nevada border. Let’s dive deeper into some of the regional geology on this edition of #FaultFriday.
East of the San Andreas fault, the plate boundary doesn’t stop moving. Even though ~70% of the relative motion of the Pacific-North American plates occurs within the San Andreas fault system, that leaves ~30% to be accommodated elsewhere.
Moving east from the San Andreas fault from ~San Francisco, more plate motion is accommodated at the eastern rangefront of the Sierra Nevada. If you’ve ever wondered why the Sierra look even more impressive from the east than the west, enter: active tectonics.
Read 13 tweets
Jul 9, 2021
Update on the M 6.0 #earthquake that occurred at 3:29 pm Pacific Time July 8, in Antelope Valley, California, near the Nevada border. #califearthquake You can find up-to-date details about the earthquake here: earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ev…
Shaking of intensities up to VII was reported nearest the epicenter. The quake was felt all the way to the Pacific Coast and throughout CA’s Central Valley as well as strongly in Reno and Carson City.
Did You Feel It? Report here:
earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ev…
Our @USGS_ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system sent out some ShakeAlert-powered alerts through phone apps and @Google @Android. Check out earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ev… for more information about ShakeAlert’s performance.
Read 5 tweets
Jul 6, 2021
An M5.2 earthquake occurred 12 km (7.5 mi) NNW of Kukuihaele, Hawaii yesterday at 1:34 PM local time. So far >1,300 people have reported feeling shaking. If you felt this quake (or not!), click the link below to tell us about your experience. For more on EQs in Hawaii, see 🧵👇.
Thousands of earthquakes occur every year in the State of Hawaii most of which are small & caused by eruptive processes w/in the active volcanoes on & around the Island of Hawaii, especially in the southern districts where the Kilauea, Mauna Loa & Loihi volcanoes are most active. Image
Other EQs can occur in Hawaii along tectonic faults in the crust & upper mantle & can be related to deep structural adjustments from the weight of the lava-built islands on Earth's underlying crust. This is the most common source of damaging EQs north of the Island of Hawaii. Image
Read 7 tweets

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