Quake swarm rattles Bodie
September 20, 2004
Hundreds of earthquakes that hit Mono County near the Nevada-California border over the weekend are not believed to be related to the caldera at Mammoth Lakes.
Geologist Dave Hill of the U.S. Geological Survey, who has studied the volcano near the Mono County tourist town, told authorities that a swarm of more than 400 small quakes of varying intensity were far from Mammoth.
The ground started shaking just after midnight early Saturday morning. The two strongest quakes occurred at 4:02 p.m. and 4:43 p.m. Both were magnitude 5 on the Richter scale. Another earthquake Monday morning hit 4.8, according to the Mono County Sheriff’s Department.
There have been an estimated 400 small earthquakes during the weekend. Six of them were magnitude 4 or higher and 20 have been 3 or higher.
Authorities said the earthquakes were centered around Adobe Hills east of Mono Lake.
According to Hill, the Mammoth Lakes Caldera has been quiet since 1990.
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Although volcanic activity cannot be completely ruled out, the latest swarm appears to be related to plate tectonics and not volcanic activity and were centered far from population centers.
The epicenter for the quakes was 24 miles southeast of Bodie and 26 miles east of Lee Vining.