Strong Earthquakes near CA-NV border

Release Date:

Three jolting earthquakes occurred in the wee hours this morning near Hawthorne NV, with two M5.7 events and a M5.5 occurring between the hours of 12:18 AM PST and 1:13 AM PST.

The earthquakes are related to movement along a NW striking regional fault zone known as the Walker Lane. As of this writing there have been 135 aftershocks, most in the M1-2 range. A similar sequence of earthquakes in April-May 2011 known as the "Hawthorne earthquake swarm" occurred in the same general area.

Although the earthquakes are near Nevada's Aurora-Bodie Volcanic Field (see map), the events are unlikely to be related to volcanic unrest. The lavas of Aurora-Bodie Volcanic Field look "young" but the most recent eruption was 110,000 years ago. The field has a history of eruptions that date as far back as 3.6 million years ago.

More information on the earthquake activity can be found on the University of Nevada, Reno website:

Nevada Earthquake Swarm December 28, 2016...

Satellite image of the Aurora-Bodie Volcanic Field with December 28, 2016 Nevada earthquake swarm locations.

(Public domain.)