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2019 Ridgecrest, California Earthquake Sequence Geonarrative

December 4, 2020

A new geonarrative (Esri Story Map) summarizes the USGS response and findings after the M6.4 on July 4 and M7.1 on July 6, 2019 in Searles Valley, Southern California.

animated gif showing a slider bar going back and forth over a before and after image
Shaded relief map views of the 2019 Ridgecrest sequence. Events are color coded by depth. Depth is referenced to a surface elevation of 0.7 km above sea level. Dot size does not scale with magnitude. Stars indicate Mw 6.4 and 7.1 epicenter locations from Shelly, 2020. The seismic stations used in this study are shown as small white triangles (additional stations beyond main map view shown in inset). Pink squares show town centers. White lines indicate mapped surface rupture (both fully and not fully verified) (Kendrick et al., 2019). (modified from Shelly, 2020, Public domain.)

On July 4, 2019 at 10:34am local time, more than 47,000 people in southern California and as far away as northern California and Phoenix, Arizona felt shaking from an M6.4 earthquake centered 18.2 km (11.3 mi) WSW of Ridgecrest, California. About 34 hours later (at 8:19pm local time) and 11km (6.8 mi) NW of the M6.4 event, another larger earthquake occurred. This was an M7.1 on a fault orthogonal (rotated 90 degrees) to the strike of the M6.4 and was also a shallow strike-slip event.

View the 2019 Ridgecrest, California Earthquake Sequence Geonarrative.

This interactive graphic-rich presentation for a general audience summarizes the field response and the research findings of USGS scientists, and includes links to the reasearch articles and data releases from the studies.

  • Overview - Learn about the region where the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence occurred and what's happened there in the past.
  • Field Response - Interact with various maps and images to explore the locations of surface features, instruments, and relocated aftershocks. Read about the efforts to map all the surface features created by the earthquakes, and the various instruments that were deployed to record aftershocks up close. Find out about the research scientists have completed so far.
  • Photo Gallery - View photos taken by the geologists and seismologists that traveled to the epicentral areas and surrounding impacted area just days after the earthquakes.
  • More Information - Explore links to additional resources with more details and background information.
  • References - Access the data releases and journal articles used for the images and interactive maps in the geonarrative.

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