Special Earthquake Report No: 00-011

Regional Location:

Preliminary Magnitude:

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Greenwich Mean Date:
Greenwich Mean Time:
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ML 4.3 (UNRSL) ML 4.1 (NEIC)

Mw n/a ( -- )

12:54:50 (4:54 a.m. local time)
4.9 km (3.0 miles)

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(Gerlach M4.3)





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GERLACH, NEVADA, November 19, 2000 (Seismo-Watch) -- Preliminary data indicates that an earthquake measuring M4.3 occurred at 12:54 UTC (4:54 a.m. PST), November 26 in a remote area of Nevada north of reno Nevada.
The quake was centered about 58 miles north of Reno and some 12 miles south of Gerlach along the northeastern flank of the Fox Range and the western margin of the San Emidio Desert. Although there have been no reports at this time, it is likely the temblor was sharply felt at Empire and Gerlach, and no doubt, at the San Emidio geothermal power plant located just a few miles away. It occurred in the same area as a M4.2 temblor (later revised downward to M3.8) on November 15 and as many as a dozen M2's and M3's since October 5 of this year. It was the second largest earthquake recorded in the area in the past 30 years, the largest measuring M4.6 and happening on February 2, 1993.
Historical seismicity in this area is slim and consists mostly of a scattering of events since the University of Nevada, Reno developed the Nevada seismic monitoring network in the early 1970's. Prior to the current series, two sequences stand out. The first occurred in the early 1970's and produced 13 events during the period from 1970 to 1975 that included four quakes in the M3 range. The second sequence followed the M4.6 earthquake on February 2, 1993 and contained two more events, including one in the M3 range. In September and October of last year, three more M2's were recorded here then the region went quiet until this current series. Long periods of quiescence followed by sputtering and spurts of seismicity appear to be common for this area, and typifies the type of activity seen in Nevada as a whole.
Geologists have mapped an extensive fault zone along the northeastern Fox Range which shows substantial Holocene (recent) surface fault ruptures, indicating large earthquakes have occurred here in the not so distance geologic past. These faults and fractures have provided the conduits by which deep thermal fluids have come to the surface to form several hot springs in the area. They are the source for the clean, renewable resource that powers the San Emidio geothermal power plant.

Sources: USGS, UNRSL, NBMG, personal communications.

Update: 10:00 a.m., November 19, 2000.

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Copyright (c) Advanced Geologic Exploration 2000

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Subtract 8 hours from Greenwich Mean Time to obtain PST or 4 hours for EDT
Location Quality: A (good), B (fair), C (poor), D (bad)
Magnitude: Ml (local or Richter magnitude), Lg (mblg), Md (duration), Mb (body wave), Ms (surface wave), Mw (moment)

Standard Sources Include:
U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, Golden, CO (NEIC)
Harvard Geophysical Observatory, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (HRV)
U.S. Geological Survey, Northern California Seismic Network (NCSN)
University of California, Berkeley, Seismological Laboratory (UCBSL)
Southern California Seismic Network (USGS & Caltech), Pasadena, California (SCSN)
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California (Caltech)
various wire reports and/or personal communications

All data are preliminary and subject to change.
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