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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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600 Small Earthquakes Hit Mammoth Lake, California

Mammoth Lake in Northern California

(Photo : Flickr) The Mammoth Lake region in Northern California is near the Long Valley caldera in Sierra Nevada Range where the earthquakes originated from.

A record 600 earthquakes hit the Mammoth Lakes region in California Friday. Experts believe these quakes were a manifestation of tectonic stress as opposed to volcanic stress.

There were around 109 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or greater. These relatively small quakes comprised most of the earthquakes but there were at least six that measured greater than magnitude 3.0, said David Shelly, a seismologist from the U.S. Geological Survey's Volcano Science Center,

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This multitude of quakes began Thursday around the Long Valley caldera located east of the central Sierra Nevada Range. Quakes are a frequent occurrence in the area however. Some 200 small quakes disturbed the region in July, with the largest measuring a magnitude of 2.7.

Seismologists believe these earthquakes were provoked by water pressure from hot springs around the area that shifted the ground surface. This caused great distress among tectonic plates.

The multitude of quakes is being closely observed by scientists who think the quakes aren't related to any volcanic activity.

During the 1980s, the Long Valley caldera was hit with a series of 6.0 magnitude earthquakes. This event, however, was obscured by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington.

After a decade or in 1997, there was another quake with a magnitude of 4.9 that occurred simultaneously over several months.

The region is riddled by seismic activity. It includes a system of 17 dormant volcanoes including some older ones that have been inactive for thousands of years.

The series of quake attacks in Long Valley caldera is rather disconcerting. Shelly reassures the public there won't be any eruptions in California, at least not in the near future.

Some other volcanoes, however, have displayed a fair amount of seismic activity such as the Clear Lake Volcanic Field located north of San Francisco and the Salton Buttes near the Salton Sea Geothermal Field east of Palm Springs.

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