A swarm of more than 40 earthquakes in 24 hours is causing a buzz in the northwest US
Dec 08, 2021 53 secs
Lucy Jones, there have been more than 133 quakes of magnitude 5 or greater on the Blanco Fracture Zone since 1980 and have never been followed by something on land.

"Today's quakes can be thought of as something like a main-shock and a swarm of aftershocks, the one distinction being that in this case, there's not a lot of magnitude difference among them," Tobin said.

Though this week's quakes have raised the concerns the so-called "big one" could be near, Tobin assured it is not necessarily the case.

"There's quite a lot of distance from these quakes to the Cascadia Subduction Zone," Tobin explained.

"Our best current understanding of how stress transfers through the crust (and mantle) would suggest that these events don't change stress on the subduction zone appreciably."

He pointed out, although we have had a remarkable number of magnitude 5.5+ quakes in a short period of time, it is not inherently alarming but rather seismologically interesting.

A similar swarm of quakes, though not to this week's magnitude, occurred earlier this year near the Salton Sea in Southern California.

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