Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What's in Hawthorne, NV, and why is it shaking and rolling?

December 28, 2016 at 3:21am
Two big 5.7 quakes (one upgraded to 5.8), and a 5.0, with several swarms, in Hawthorne, NV. So that's why I'm now wide awake... It seems something woke me around 12:45ish. I was in a deep sleep so it may have been earlier. And then I thought it was morning, time to get up. Must've been the bed shaking. Hawthorn, NV??? Can we even feel that in the Bay Area? Apparently so. Wow. What's in Hawthorne?

5.8   it took me a while to find the old USGS Did You Feel It? map. Which is invaluable to see where it was felt. I really wasn't imaging things. I do NOT like the new USGS website. The old one was much better. 

 I noticed there's an Aurora Crater right below Hawthorne. Hmmm? This was a volcano field. Hundreds of miles of them. The valley is a caldera. There are old ash cones all around the edges. Must be indigestion. Wait, the whole valley is a caldera? Not a sinkhole/playa? It was upgraded to 5.8. Aurora Crater is rumbling?

WTF is in Hawthorne, NV??? It's a sinkhole on the backside of the Sierras, between Walker Lake and Mono Lake, near Bodie, fergawdsakes... Not even on a faultline. I thought I was imagining things until someone posted it on FB. Well, the Sierras are still growing. Must be growing pains. One quake at Bridgeport too, that entire area above Mono Lake is loaded with geothermal activity. There are a whole bunch of little unnamed faults south of the basin, running east/west... two sets leading into Mono Lake.

There are quite a few unnamed east/west faults below it, near Mono Lake.

And of course, below Mono Lake is Long Valley, and Mammoth Caldera...maybe a new fault rupture to the Big Bulge. If Mammoth ever blows... It blows my mind that I felt the big quakes in Oakland. Sleep? What's that? 5.8, 5.7, 5.5, 5.3, 4.1, 4.0, ....more than 70 quakes between Hawthorne and Bridgeport. Talk about a swarm.

No faults are listed where the swarm is located, but the area is a vast volcanic field (Aurora Cauldera most prominent), and it's close enough to Mammoth to give pause... that whole area is riddled with geothermal activity. Yes, the Sierras are young mountains still growing, so it could be merely tectonic growing pains...

Joyce Simmons, who lives near there, said the epicenter was near Lucky Boy grade. Lots of volcanic (nascent) activity around Mono Lake. Could be associated with Mammoth. She said that the valley is a caldera, and there are old ash cones all around the edges. The valley was a volcano field. Hundreds of miles of them. Aurora Crater, most significant. The underground bomb tests used to set off swarms.

Geologist Garry Hayes said: Quakes are probably tectonic related rather than volcanic. First motion diagrams indicate strike-slip (lateral) motion. Sensation of shaking is stronger on surfaces underlain by sediments. People I know in the Sierra didn't feel anything while lots of folks in the Central Valley did.

Here's hoping it's not clandestine injection wells, or fracking related. Or underground bomb tests!

Can I please go back to sleep now, dear Earth?

Hawthorne Army Depot
Purpose & Location: U.S Ammunition Storage Location in Nevada
Though, Hawthorne Army Depot is considered just a U.S ammunition storage depot of the U.S military, where ammunition are created, tested and deployed, but there is also something secretly done at Walker Lake. The secret at Walker Lake is an underground Navy Submarine base. As you pass through Hawthorne, you can see signs which reads ‘Naval Undersea Warfare Center’. Officially, Walker Lake is 500 ft deep, which is suitable for a Naval Submarine base? That is a big question and a secret.

Wow, I didn't know about Walker Lake.

List of Earthquake Incidents for Hawthorne, NV
Nevada Seismological Laboratory on Hawthorne earthquakes

Three magnitude 5.5 to 5.7 earthquakes struck about 28 km (18 miles) southwest of Hawthorne, Nevada just after midnight local time (08:18 UTC) on Wednesday, December 28, 2016, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno reported. Reports so far indicate minimal damage due to the remote nature of the earthquake
sequence. Strong shaking was reported in Hawthorne, Nevada and Bridgeport, California area, and the earthquake was felt as far away as San Francisco, Reno, Las Vegas and throughout California's Central Valley. More than 10 000 Nevada and California residents felt the events and posted responses to the USGS "Did you feel it?" website. As of Wednesday morning, 16 earthquakes larger than magnitude 3.0 have occurred, including two magnitude 4.0 to 4.1 tremblors.
The Hawthorne area is a seismically active region, with thousands of earthquakes recorded in a swarm during March and April in 2011. The 2011 sequence included 10 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 to 4.4. Last night's sequence is about 8 km (5 miles) due west of the 2011 sequence area. Recent activity, since 2015, has included earthquakes greater than 4.0 just west of Walker Lake that were also strongly felt in Hawthorne.

Strong earthquakes hit Nevada - California border region

I gave up counting after 4 00 quakes and shakes (all sizes) seems rather significant.
This region was hit by a string of minor earthquakes in July 2016 and March, April and May 2011.

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