Southern Inyo Earthquake Swarm Dies Off

Two weeks after Southern Inyo residents were rocked out of bed by a sizeable earthquake it appears that the cluster of quakes has started to die down.

owens_lakeThis sequence of earthquakes, called the Coso Swarm by some, has included numerous small shakers along with two quakes over a magnitude 5. Doug Given with the US Geological Survey reports that the sequence seems to be decaying as sequences of this sort do. Given added that this area, near the South East Shore of the Owens Dry Lake, has been acting up since May, when a magnitude 4.7 rattled the area.

The 1872 Lone Pine quake, said by some geologists to have been stronger than the 1906 San Francisco Quake, is never far from peoples minds when a quake strikes the Eastern Sierra. This latest series of earthquakes appear to be too far to the east to be on the Sierra Frontal Fault that produced the 1872 quake, Given explained.

Given explained that on an alluvial fan near the South East Shore of the Dry Lake, geologists have noted sandblows, caused by liquefaction. Given explained that these sandblows look like wet and sandy volcanoes and are caused by shaken groundwater mixed with fine grained sand.

The earthquakes have dropped in frequency and magnitude, but always serve as a reminder that we live in a geologically active area and should have a plan for the big one.


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