More than 80,000 earthquakes have been recorded in the Ridgecrest area since July 4 — the aftermath from two of the biggest temblors to hit California in nearly a decade. Experts said the two major quakes — the first measuring magnitude 6.4, the second 7.1 — led to a particularly energetic aftershock sequence before slowing down. The calculation, conducted by Zachary Ross, Caltech assistant professor of geophysics, comes as the earthquake sequence has continued to lessen rapidly. The U.S. Geological Survey says the chance of an earthquake of magnitude 7 or higher resulting from the Ridgecrest quakes is 1 in 300 — possible, but with a low probability.
This activity is common in areas where there’s a high heat flow in the earth, Ross said.Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson said earlier this month, that aftershock sequences in areas of Earth’s crust that is relatively warm can be initially quite intense but also fade more quickly, as has been seen in relatively hotter rock in the Imperial Valley.
The Ridgecrest earthquakes are relatively close to the Coso Volcanic Field of Inyo County, which is mainly within the borders of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the sprawling military installation where much of the earthquake rupture occurred underneath. It’s one of the nation’s largest producers of geothermal power. CLICK TO READ MORE..