Special Reports
Regional Location:

Preliminary Magnitude:

Greenwich Mean Date:
Greenwich Mean Time:
Focal Depth:


Ml 4.4 (UNRSL), ML 4.4 (NEIC)

36.7150 N
116.3003 W
0 km (near surface)

Future nuclear waste dump shaken by M 4.4 temblor

Seismo-Watch More Special Earthquake Reports

June 14, 2002

An earthquake measuring M 4.4 shook the Nevada Nuclear Test Site early this morning, jarring some people from sleep but not causing any damage or injuries.

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According to the University of Nevada Reno Seismological Laboratory (UNRSL) the earthquake registered a preliminary magnitude of (Ml) 4.4 and occurred at 12:40 GMT or 5:40 a.m. PDT, June 14, about 75 miles northwest of Las Vegas and 13 miles southeast of Yucca Mountain on the south side of Little Skull Mountain and close to the southern boundary of the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. See a Topozone topographic map or a MapQuest street map.

The focal depth was about 12 km beneath the surface.

The National Earthquake Information Service (NEIC) also reported a magnitude (ML) 4.4 and placed the epicenter slightly to the south of Little Skull Mountain near the Stripped Hills. See a Topozone topographic map. They used a fixed depth of 5.0 km to calculate their magnitude.

UNRSL has recorded a few aftershocks thus far, but all have measured in the M 1.0 range.

Felt Reports
The quake was widely felt in the communities surrounding the southwest borders of the Nevada Nuclear Test Site, including Amargossa, Beatty and Pahrump, and as far away as Las Vegas. There have been no reports of items toppling from tables and shelves.

One person said they were startled and another said it jolted them from sleep.

Background Information
The Little Skull Mountain area is a known seismic zone in Nevada that produces frequent earthquakes. The most recent M 3.0+ event occurred on October 20, 2000 and measured M 3.5. Since 1970, a total of 11 earthquakes have registered M 4.0 or stronger. The most notable event occurred on June 29, 1992 and measured M 5.6. It occurred just a day after the powerful Landers M 7.3 temblor and is believed to be evidence of a strong regional earthquake triggering another earthquake at some distance away.

Additional seismic information links:

Mainstream media news reports:
  • None at this time.
Report update: 7:48:44 AM, Saturday, June 15, 2002

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