Thursday, November 26, 2015

Seismologists watching Glacier Peak after four earthquakes

BY Stephanie Klein:

Four earthquakes struck within hours of each other Wednesday afternoon near Glacier Peak in Washington.

The first two earthquakes registered at magnitudes 3.1 and 3.5.

The first earthquake occurred at 12:11 p.m. The second registered roughly an hour later at 1:20 p.m.

Then a third earthquake — a magnitude 1.6 — occurred at 2:33 p.m.

And finally a fourth earthquake — a magnitude 1.4 — was registered at 3:44 p.m.

All the quakes were recorded roughly 19-21 miles east-southeast of the town of Darrington.

Seth Moran, geophysicist at the University of Washington, tells KIRO Radio they're keeping a close eye on the area and continue to watch the seismic records.

"Magnitude 3 earthquakes happen in Washington and Oregon a number of times per year," Moran said. "The one thing that makes these potentially interesting in a different way is they're somewhat close to Glacier Peak."

The quakes, about three miles from Glacier Peak, occurred where there haven't been a lot of magnitude 3 earthquakes in the past, according to Moran.

"The last time there was a magnitude 3 in the vicinity was in 1991," Moran said.

However, there isn't a great network of seismic instruments in the area.

There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

According to the USGS, the last time Glacier Peak erupted was 1,100 years ago. Mount St. Helens and Glacier Peak are the only volcanoes in Washington state that have been explosive in the past 15,000 years.
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