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QUAKE UPDATE

 

== PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE REPORT ==

Southern California Seismic Network: a cooperative project of U.S. Geological Survey, Pasadena California
Caltech Seismological Laboratory, Pasadena, California

 

Tectonic Summary

The July 6th, 2019, 03:19 UTC (July 5th 20:19 locally) Mw 7.1 earthquake in eastern California, southwest of Searles Valley, occurred as the result of shallow strike slip faulting in the crust of the North America plate. Focal mechanism solutions for the earthquake indicate rupture occurred on a steeply dipping fault as the result of either right lateral slip on a plane striking NW-SE, or as left lateral slip on a plane striking SW-NE. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 150 km northeast of San Andreas Fault - the major plate boundry in the region – the Pacific plate moves to the northwest with respect to the North America plate at a rate of approximately 48 mm/yr. The location of the earthquake falls within the Eastern California shear zone, a region of distributed faulting associated with motion across the Pacific:North America plate boundry and an area of high seismic hazard.  More detailed studies will be required to precisely identify the causative fault associated with this event, though seismic activity over the past 2 days has been occurring on two conjugate fault structures in the Airport Lake Fault Zone.

This earthquake occurs approximately 34 hours after and 11 km northwest of a M 6.4 event in the same region, on July 4th, 2019, at 17:33 UTC. The July 4th event was preceded by a short series of small foreshocks (including a M4.0 earthquake 30 minutes prior), and was followed by a robust sequence of aftershocks, including almost 250 M 2.5+ earthquakes (up until the M 7.1 event). Those events aligned with both nodal planes (NE-SW and NW-SE) of the focal mechanism solution of the M 6.4 event, which was very similar in faulting style to today’s M 7.1 earthquake. The sequence includes two other M5+ earthquakes, one of which occurred 20 seconds before the M 7.1 event. The M 7.1 earthquake occurred at the NW extension of the prior sequence.

While commonly plotted as points on maps, earthquakes of this size are more appropriately described as slip over a larger fault area.  Strike-slip-faulting events of the size of the July 6, 2019, earthquake are typically about 70x15 km (length x width).

This region of eastern California has hosted numerous moderate sized earthquakes. Over the past 40 years, prior to the July 4th event, 8 other M5+ earthquakes have occurred within 50 km of the July 6th, 2019 earthquake. The largest of these was a M 5.8 event on September 20, 1995, just 3 km to the west of today’s event, which was felt strongly in the China Lake-Ridgecrest area, and more broadly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

Version #689167: This report supersedes any earlier reports of this event. This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

A strong earthquake occurred at 10:33:49 AM (PDT) on Thursday, July 4, 2019.


The magnitude 6.4 event occurred 12 km (7 miles) SW of Searles Valley, CA.


The hypocentral depth is 11 km ( 7 miles).

 

Magnitude6.4 - local magnitude (Ml)

TimeThursday, July 4, 2019 at 10:33:49 AM (PDT)
Thursday, July 4, 2019 at 17:33:49 (UTC)

Distance fromSearles Valley, CA - 12 km (7 miles) SW (233 degrees)
Trona, CA - 13 km (8 miles) WSW (240 degrees)
Ridgecrest, CA - 18 km (11 miles) ENE (59 degrees)
Inyokern, CA - 28 km (18 miles) ENE (77 degrees)
Johannesburg, CA - 39 km (24 miles) NNE (17 degrees)

Coordinates35 deg. 42.3 min. N (35.705N), 117 deg. 30.4 min. W (117.506W)

Depth10.71 km (6.7 miles)

QualityFair

Location Quality ParametersNst=32, Nph=35, Dmin=31.6 km, Rmss=0.19 sec, Erho=0.15 km, Erzz=0.33 km, Gp=167.19 degrees

Event ID#ci38443183