Big Pine temblors reminder of 1872 Owens Valley earthquake |

Big Pine temblors reminder of 1872 Owens Valley earthquake

by Mike Wolterbeek
University of Nevada, Reno

The Nevada Seismological Laboratory reports a magnitude 4.8 earthquake located in the mountains a few miles northwest of Big Pine, some 10 miles south of Bishop, Calif. at 3:05 p.m. Tuesday. It was followed by a magnitude 4.3 quake at 3:27 p.m. There have been no reports of damage.

The largest event was felt as far away as Sacramento to Bakersfield in the Great Valley and was located about 6 miles below the surface. These earthquakes were located just west of the fault that ruptured during the 1872 magnitude 7.6 earthquake (known as the Owens Valley earthquake, which is the third largest in California history). Seismograph stations in eastern California run by the University of Nevada, Reno's Nevada Seismological Laboratory provided critical information for event detection and location. The seismology lab has been tasked with monitoring large swaths of eastern California for nearly a half-century.

Updated information for activity associated with this earthquake is available at

The Nevada-Eastern California region has a history of large damaging earthquakes and citizens should always consider earthquake preparedness. Information is available at the Great Nevada Shakeout website or at

The Nevada Seismological Laboratory, a public service department at the University of Nevada, Reno, is a member of the USGS Advanced National Seismic System ( and operates a network of about 150 real-time seismograph stations throughout the region providing earthquake information to Nevada citizens, the USGS, and local and state officials.

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