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Scientists "Haven't Figured Out" IE Quake Swarm

Series of quakes may mean something, but experts doubt it

By Jacob Rascon and Bill French
|  Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012  |  Updated 7:03 AM PDT
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A series of small earthquakes in the Inland Empire has UC Riverside geologist Dr. Gareth Funning struggling to identify just what they are. Jacob Rascon reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on April 24, 2012.

Jacob Rascon and James Wulff

A series of small earthquakes in the Inland Empire has UC Riverside geologist Dr. Gareth Funning struggling to identify just what they are. Jacob Rascon reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on April 24, 2012.

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Borrego Springs is firmly anchored in the Riverside County desert. Lately, though, it's been moving around a lot.

"I still haven't figured out what they are," said Gareth Funning, UC Riverside geologist. "The fact that there's a persistent swarm like this, there are several major ones in that sequence."

Funning has been keeping watch on roughly two weeks of quake activity and Tuesday morning's earthquake in Hemet punctuated the sequence.

"If it was followed by a large earthquake, then you would call it a fore shock," Funning said. "But right now it seems to be an isolated incident."

So, does it mean anything? Funning said probably not.

"They haven't led to anything destructive but I'm sure they're a constant reminder to the people who live in the area that they live in an earthquake zone," Funning said.

And it's not just any earthquake zone. The famous San Andreas Fault runs through the region, and if there is anything predictable about earthquakes, it's that you can count on shakers along the San Andreas.

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