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Giant Desiccation Fissures on the Black Rock and Smoke Creek Deserts, Nevada
Ronald Willden 1 and Don R. Mabey 1
1 U. S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California
Open fissures, from 100 to several hundred feet apart, that have produced polygonal patterns on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, are believed to be giant desiccation cracks resulting from a secular trend toward aridity in the last few decades. Similar features on the Smoke Creek Desert probably have the same origin.
In regards to the 4.1/3.8 quakes in nevada... I still dunno if they are the same quake... different depth.. and different location... the 4.1 was originally on the other side of that valley, in the mountains...
Geoff Blewitt, a University of Nevada physicist who focuses on measuring minute earth movements with GPS, believes that since the swarm began, a 20-square-mile area has shifted eastward one centimeter – just under a half-inch.
The shift is too great to be caused by the swarm itself and hints that a deeper, underground creep is straining the region above it, Blewitt said. The swarm could be partially releasing that strain.
Volcanic seismicity has three major forms: short-period earthquakes, long-period earthquakes, and harmonic tremor. Short-period earthquakes are like normal fault-related earthquakes. They are related to the fracturing of brittle rock as the magma forces its way upward. These short-period earthquakes signify the growth of a magma body near the surface. Long-period earthquakes are believed to indicate increased gas pressure in a volcano's "plumbing system." They are similar to the clanging sometimes heard in your home's plumbing system. Harmonic tremor occurs when there is sustained movement of magma below the surface.
Swelling of the volcano signals that magma has accumulated near the surface. Scientists monitoring an active volcano will often measure the tilt of the slope and track changes in the rate of swelling. An increased rate of swelling--especially if accompanied by an increase in sulfur dioxide emissions and harmonic tremors--is almost a sure sign of an impending event.