Nearly 20 small earthquakes were detected at Mount Rainier on Wednesday. Experts said earthquake swarms like these “usually happen once or twice a year”.
Editor’s note: The above video was originally published in October 2020 when scientists were adding more sensors to detect avalanches on Mount Rainier.
Mount Rainier – A “small swarm” of earthquakes was reported at Mount Rainier on Wednesday. While the swarm was an increase in activity, experts said there was no reason to sound the alarm.
“While seismic activity represents a temporary spike in activity, Mount Rainier is still at normal levels of activity in the background,” said the USGS.
The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) detected the first earthquake around 3:15 pm, and activity ended around 8 pm. Altogether, nearly 20 earthquakes were detected in about 5 hours. Also, one earthquake was detected on Thursday morning.
The largest earthquake was of magnitude 2.5, and the earthquakes were between zero and 0.6 miles below sea level, according to PNSN. There were no reports that residents felt the earthquake on the surface.
Related: How Mount Rainier Eruption Could Affect Seattle vs South Sound
The Washington Emergency Management Division said earthquakes like these “usually happen once or twice a year.”
The USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory and PNSN have used a network of seismic stations to monitor volcanic activity in the national park since the early 1980s. New seismic stations were installed last year by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to help detect volcanic mud flows that include a mixture of water and volcanic debris like rocks.
Using data from seismic stations, the US Geological Survey said the scientists believed that earthquakes stemmed from hydrothermal fluid “lubrication” faults within rocks below Mount Rainier.
The most notable earthquake swarm, according to the USGS, occurred in 2009 when more than 1,000 earthquakes were detected between September 20-22.
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