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Swarm Of Earthquakes At Oregon-Nevada Border Being Monitored By Scientists

An earthquake swarm began rattling northwestern Nevada near Lakewood in July.
International Business Times
/
An earthquake swarm began rattling northwestern Nevada near Lakewood in July.

Geologists have been following a sequence of recurring earthquakes since mid-July in Southeastern Oregon and Northwestern Nevada. The activity increased significantly early last week.

An earthquake swarm began rattling northwestern Nevada near Lakewood in July.
Credit International Business Times
/
An earthquake swarm began rattling northwestern Nevada near Lakewood in July.

Seismic Geologists refer to multiple earthquakes like these as a swarm. A magnitude 4.6 occurred last Tuesday, with magnitude 3 plus events occurring throughout Wednesday. In the past three months, there have been 42 earthquakes greater than magnitude 3. Ali Ryan is a Scientist for the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. She says the increase in frequency and intensity means there is a slightly higher probability that a large earthquake could occur.

Ryan: "You know in the past, this kind of swarm has led to a larger earthquake. It has also led to not a larger earthquake. It's really at this point about seismologists keeping an eye on it, continuing to monitor it, and we want the community to be aware of what is happening too and take this opportunity to get prepared if they aren't prepared."

Ryan says when earthquakes occur they can't be predicted. A similar swam occurred in Adel in 1968, which included three quakes of magnitude 5.

copyright, 2014 KLCC

Copyright 2014 KLCC

Desmond O'Boyle
Desmond O'Boyle is KLCC's local host of Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday.