Over 30 Earthquakes Rattle Oregon Along Newly Discovered Fault Line; Experts say Activity Could Precede Much Larger Quake

This map from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network shows the location of more than 30 small earthquakes that have been recorded near Government Camp since Sunday. (PNSN)
This map from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network shows the location of more than 30 small earthquakes that have been recorded near Government Camp since Sunday. (PNSN)

The ground is shaking under Government Camp — even though the people who live there can barely feel it.

KGW reported Wednesday that more than 30 small earthquakes have rattled the ground under the Mount Hood community since Sunday. None have been big, but they have “captured the attention of state geologists and rattled the nerves of some nearby residents,” the Portland television station reported.

According to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, the largest of the quakes measured 2.3 on the Richter magnitude scale. Some were as small as 0.3 But KGW said that it’s the location of the quakes, not their size, that has scientists taking note. They are along a newly discovered fault.

“The fact that the earthquakes are defining a fault means that that fault is active and if it can make a magnitude 2.3 it can probably make a much larger earthquake,” explained Ian Madin Chief Scientist with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Madin told KGW that he does not think the quakes are a pre-cursor to a future eruption, but said that now that geologists know there may be active fault close to Government Camp, they can keep a closer eye on it.

SOURCE:  John Killen | jkillen@oregonian.com  
The Oregonian

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