Southern California Earthquake Data Center

Significant Earthquakes and Faults

Chronological Earthquake Index

1996 Coso Earthquake

Type of Faulting: right-lateral strike-slip
Time: November 27, 1996 / 12:17:24 pm PST
Location: 36° 04.5' N, 117° 39' W 27 km (17 miles) east-northeast of Little Lake 53 km (33 miles) north-northeast of Ridgecrest
Magnitude: MW5.3
Depth: 1.2 km
Fault Involved: probably a northwest-trending segment of the Airport Lake fault zone

 

Though strongly felt in the Ridgecrest area and southern Owens Valley, the Coso quake produced no major damage due to its moderate size and remote epicenter. What it did produce was a large number of aftershocks -- over 3000 were recorded in the six months after the mainshock -- and a strange feeling of deja vu for many. This quake followed the main shocks of the Ridgecrest earthquake sequence (the aftershocks of which were still continuing) by only 14 months, and occurred less than 30 miles north of that group of epicenters. In addition, the characteristics of its aftershock sequence were very similar to that of the Ridgecrest sequence.

 

While the similarities to the Ridgecrest sequence are intriguing, this quake was not a seismic "eye-opener". Similar activity has occurred in years past in the area extending from Coso to Ridgecrest, and the area will no doubt see more activity in the years to come.

 

March 5, 1998

Starting on the night of March 5, 1998, a new series of earthquakes struck the Coso area. For details, see the TriNet Coso earthquake page.

 

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