Special Reports
A M 4.4 earthquake shakes the So. California High Desert

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Tuesday, March 11, 2003

An earthquake registering M 4.4 occurred late this morning in a remote area in Southern California at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base. There have been no reports of damage or injuries and none would be expected.

According to the Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN), the earthquake registered M 4.4 and occurred about 11:28 a.m. Tuesday, March 11 about 70 miles east-northeast of San Bernardino, 20 miles northeast of Joshua Tree, and 9 miles north of Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base along the southwestern front to the Bullion Mountains, near Deadmans (Dry) Lake. See a Topozone topographic map or a MapQuest street map.

The epicenter occurred on the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base, a remote area closed to the public.

Subscribers to the Seismo-Watch EQ Flash! Alert Bulletins received a notification within minutes of the earthquake.

The focal point was shallow and preliminary data suggests about 1.9 km (1.2 mi.). It is unlikely it caused any surface fault ruptures.

The earthquake was sharply felt at Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms, startling people and causing some to jump. There have been no reports of damage and nothing toppled from tables and shelves.

The quake was felt as far away as Barstow, southern Coachella Valley, Temecula and parts of San Bernardino.

The earthquake occurred along the Lavic Lake (Hector Mine) aftershock zone. Following the M 7.1 earthquake on October 17, 1999, aftershocks have tapered off considerable, posting only 1-5 events per week in the M 2.0+ range. Occasionally, a M 3.0 quake will happen, sometimes in spurts or series. See Seismo-Watch Southern California earthquake report.

Since January 2001, M 3.0+ aftershocks have predominantly occurred at two times of the year (more than 50%), October-November and February-March.

This was the largest earthquake in the Lavic Lake aftershock zone since a M 4.8 struck the Cady Mountains (the northern part of the aftershock zone) on October 29, 2002. There have been three quakes in the M 4.0 range since mid 2001.

More information will be added as it becomes available. Check back later or subscribe to the EQ Flash! Alert Bulletin service to be notified of when a notable (M 3.0+) aftershock has occurred.

Report update: 1:00:05 PM, Tuesday, March 11, 2003

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