Monday, October 7, 2013

Shallow Ongoing Quake Swarm near Pisgah Crater, CA

Over the last several days there has been an ongoing quake swarm near California's Pisgah Crater in the Lavic Lake Volcanic Field. Magnitudes have ranged from less than 1.0 up to 4.3, and most are occurring at very shallow depths. While this may alarm some due to the proximity to the monogenetic Pisgah Crater, these quakes are purely tectonic and not volcanic in nature. The depths are far too shallow to be related to magma, unless there was already an eruption underway (which there is not).

The quakes however are close enough to the system to have an effect (if say, there was a magma chamber still laying around underneath the crust, which is a bit doubtful at this time).

Image of the Pisgah Crater area with the location of the quakes. Screenshot from Google Earth with USGS plugin. 
While normally I wouldn't even bother writing about this volcano (as it has not erupted in historical time, nor will it likely erupt int he near future), there has been some un-needed and unjustified hype about it due to some alarmist bloggers, namely some anonymous 'blogger' named "Dutchsinse", who regularly raises false alarms about this volcanic system. I can assure you, there is nothing now, or in the recent past, that suggests that this system is currently active at all. If in fact there was any reason for concern in the near future, you can rest assured that the USGS would absolutely be able to tell far in advance if magma was rising, and since we are talking about California, media coverage would be incredibly heavy.

In any case, earthquake swarms near the San Andreas fault are quite common, and California is criss-crossed by many other smaller faults with regular small to moderate activity. This is absolutely nothing new.

The area is however a beautiful place to visit if you have the time and the drive to go out that way, and it is certainly a cool sight to see 'fresh' looking lava flows much like you'd find in Hawaii's Kilauea volcanic system. If you'r in the area (or are ready for a read trip to basically nowhere) you can easily check out Pisgah Crater, and nearby Amboy crater, both of which are morphologically fresh and well-preserved monogenetic cinder cones. Monogenetic cones only erupt once, and typically never again.

If a new eruption were to occur at Lavic Lake, it would likely not be in the same location that it had erupted in before, and would create a new vent or vents.

1 comment:

  1. Dutchsinse is no one to bother even mentioning. In fact, you 'responding' to him in this way is likely to be viewed as the "great media silencing of the Truth".

    And I am a 'shill' for saying this. ;)

    Thanks for the information, though. I see these quakes but don't know enough to understand what they mean so I always wait for an update to your blog.


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