Thursday, April 14, 2011

Earthquake Swarm in Nevada Continues with Micro-quakes and Salton Buttes Swarms

This is today and yesterday's swarm in Nevada. You see how it is very highly localized, which is very typical of volcanic behavior in spreading zones.

If you look at the low end of the large body of water, you will see some blue squares. That's the Salton Buttes swarm. Also note the cluster of yellow events at the left about two quarters down the map, on the US-Mex border. That swarm is taking place under Signal Hill, and was the site of a good many aftershocks after last years 7.2 mag earthquake to the south of that. It was quiet recently, until this week.

Look at the image above from the Salton Buttes swarm today. Here is a pretty normal waveform, as compared to below.

Waveform above is from the Salton Buttes Volcano today. Shaped like a scared cat's tail.

Today, the Salton Buttes volcano, next to the Salton Sea in the Southern California desert is having a number micro quakes, and one waveform shape certainly has the appearance of a scared animals puffed out tail, like an angry cat. I'm not in any expert position to say that it is a volcanic waveform, for I'm not a seismologist, but I do indeed notice it. All images thanks to the USGS.

A good amount of steam, hot water and mud is moved by the heat within the cooling magma pipes at Salton Buttes, and that is about 1 mile down, and there is also a fairly large magma chamber further down, about 6 miles. That is believed to extend about 20 miles. As magma cools or expands, it cracks the surrounding host rock, and it cracks it's own self as it cools. Very often, that is the source of micro-quakes around volcanos. Those quakes usually are normal in shape, a sudden up and down and short event. If magma is actually moving, filling cracks and chambers, than the shape becomes more like that of a puffed out tail, or a bottle brush.

I took two micro-quake wave-forms images from the same swarm at Salton Buttes and put them up here for you to examine and compare. You'll notice how different they are from each other.

Again, I am in no position to say whether there is moving magma or not, and am not implying it, as much as that I'm suggesting that the right people study this area. I also suggest that people stop blaming the nearby powerplant for the micro-quakes, for quake swarms are a normal and natural thing that takes place when stuff moves within our ground.

There has been a lot of silly blame placed on humankind for swarms and even mega-quakes. People are even blaming the 9.0 mag Japan Earthquake on human activity. I very strongly doubt that, and that sort of dialog is probably intended to make real conspiracy dialog look dumb, for people often group it all together. Keep in mind that there is an information war going on, and not everything you read and hear is true. The same principal goes for the micro-quakes in Arkansas. A lot of respected people are blaming that quake swam on nearby gas drilling. They fail to realize that this swarm sits in an old area of rifting, and again, swarms are normal in spreading zones. If you Google Earth the Nevada quake swarm, you do not see much human activity other than a small strip mine and some dirt roads. You can't blame the old strip mine. But what you do see is the old lava flow I mentioned before. That flow is an obvious indicator of volcanism. Volcanos cause swarms all the time.

All that said, and in the light of that, here is an interesting dialog going on about the Nevada quake swarm. Some have spectacular and far out things to say, and others are more grounded literally. Someone points out rather correctly the geologic nature of the area where the Nevada swarm is taking place. A certain Mr. Smith on this thread is right. This swarm is taking place in a spreading zone, and area of graben. Take a look at this thread and enjoy.

Here is the USGS link to the swarm in Nevada:

1 comment:

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