Geologists record 31 small quakes on Mt. Hood since Sunday

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by Keely Chalmers, KGW News

NWCN.com

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 6:19 AM

A swarm of small earthquakes on Mount Hood has captured the attention of state geologists and rattled the nerves of some nearby residents.

The quakes started Sunday evening and have been rumbling directly beneath Government Camp. Rachael Fisher lives there and recently felt some unusual shaking.

“Yeah I did think I felt something up at the Palmer Lodge just up the road... yeah I think I may have felt something,” she explained.

Since Sunday geologists have recorded 31 tremors. The largest one was only a magnitude 2.3, barely big enough to feel.

But it's not the size of the quakes that's intriguing the scientists, it's where they're happening. They seem to be occurring right alongside a recently 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 has been tracking this swarm since it began.

Unlike past seismic swarms on Mount Hood, he said this one is likely not tied to any volcanic activity.

And he does not think the quakes are a pre-cursor to a future eruption.

But he explained now that geologists know there may be active fault close to Government Camp, they can keep a closer eye on it.

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