More than 230 small earthquakes have been reported in the past week near Reno, Nevada, according to officials.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the quakes have hit near “Galena High School or where the Mount Rose Highway goes below the I-580.” But, it noted, that people haven’t felt much, if anything.
Instruments have picked up more than 230 small quakes since last Thursday, Jan. 11, the report said.
— The Watchers (@TheWatchers_) January 12, 2018
The largest in the earthquake swarm registered as a 2.7 on the Richter scale.
“You’d have to be right above it to really feel anything,” University of Nevada, Reno seismologist Ken Smith told the Gazette, adding that the 2.7 quake is “pretty small” despite it being the largest of the bunch.
Smith said that he and others at UNR’s Nevada Seismological Laboratory pay attention to earthquake swarms, while noting that Nevada is a very seismically active state.
He said that it’s not clear if the swarm will trigger a larger earthquake.
“But if they do, we want to be on top of it,” he said. “In a way it’s kind of a heads up.”
As the Daily Mail noted, two recent seismic events near Reno, including a magnitude 4.4 quake in 2013 and a 4.7 quake in 2008, were preceded by earthquake swarms.
Smith said that it’s not clear what fault is creating the earthquake swarm. Some people have noted that the quakes are located near the Ormat Steamboat Geothermal Power Plant. Geothermal plants created electricity by using hot water vents beneath the earth’s crust, and they have been linked to earthquakes.
Smith noted that people should be prepared for small earthquakes, as they can cause damage.
“Everyone is worried about the big one, but it doesn’t take the big one to knock over your water heater and empty out your shelves,” he said.
Our volcano program coordinator Brian Terbush explains in this video how we can tell when a volcano like Mount St. Helens will "wake up." This earthquake swarm that's happening is pretty typical behavior. More info https://t.co/WqGeMdAaII pic.twitter.com/gsm3TI8QkW
— WA Emergency Mgmt (@waEMD) January 3, 2018