Major quake swarm hits Salton Sea – M5.3 earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks rattle Los Angeles, San Diego in Southern California and northern Mexico – Salton Buttes awakening?


An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 hit near the Salton Sea around 10:55 a.m. 24 miles north northwest of El Centro in Southern California. Shaking was felt across Southern California and big centers like in Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as in bordering mexican cities.

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M5.3 earthquake rattles Southern California on June 5, 2021. Map via USGS

As shown in the following map, the main earthquake was followed by a series of hundreds of aftershocks.

M5.2 earthquake and aftershocks swarm hit southern california
Map showing the M5.3 earthquake and the swarm of aftershocks that is currently rattling the Salton Sea area in Southern California on June 5, 2021. Map via USGS

The M5.3 earthquake hit near Calipatria, Imperial County, California, USA at a very shallow depth of 3.6 miles beneath the epicenter.

Based on the preliminary seismic data, the quake should have been widely felt by almost everyone in the area of the epicenter. USGS did you feel it map, shows that the earthquakes has been felt from in Los Angeles, San Diego and even in Phoenix, Arizona…

People have felt the earthquakes around the epicenter around the Salton Sea and in major cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and even Phoenix in Arizona
People have felt the earthquakes around the epicenter around the Salton Sea and in major cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and even Phoenix in Arizona. Map via USGS

The Salton Buttes on the south shore of the Salton Sea are on the north margin of the Brawley Seismic Zone and are linked to volcanic and geothermal activity within the zone. This is exactly where the earthquake swarm is rattling right now!

Earthquake swarm not fully understood

The earthquake seems to have hit right on the Brawley Seismic Zone, an extensional tectonic zone that connects the southern terminus of the San Andreas Fault with the Imperial Fault in Southern California…

brawley seismic zone earthquake june 5 2021
In blue the approximate location of today’s earthquake swarm. Brawley Seismic Zone and surrounding area. The red lines are simplified faults. Right-lateral direction of motion of the transform fault is shown (pink arrows). The red rhombs are pull-apart basins; the northern one is the site of the Niland geothermal field, the southern the Cerro Prieto geothermal field. Map via Wikipedia commons

But geologists don’t understand completely the swarm activity of the Brawley Fault Zone even though USGS scientists say such quake series are typical for this seismic region:

The area sees lots of events at once, with many close to the largest magnitude, rather than one main shock with several much smaller aftershocks.

On August 26, 2012 near Brawley, a swarm of more than 300 small to moderate earthquakes occurred with the largest two reaching a maximum of M5.3 and M5.5.

In 2005, also near Brawley, there was a swarm with a peak magnitude of 5.1, while in 1981 a swarm included one quake which was measured at 5.8.

So with a M5.3 today, we are pretty close!

It is important to add that the Imperial Valley of southern California experiences high rates of seismicity with a pronounced portion of the activity occurring within the Brawley Seismic Zone that separates the San Andreas fault to the north and the Imperial fault to the south.

The Imperial fault was the source of the 1940 El Centro earthquake and the 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake, that triggered more than 30 km (19 mi) of surface rupture along the northwest trending Imperial fault from just north of the Mexico–United States border to an area south of Brawley. The Brawley Seismic Zone was found to have ruptured, with surface cracks, for a length of 13 km (8.1 mi).

Hopefully will this swarm not induce a big one along the San Andreas fault to the north and/or the Imperial fault to the south… Always be prepared!

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  1. I hate earthquakes. You never know when they will stop. I’ve had bookshelves fall on me in bed.

    Thank God my dog woke me by pushing his paws on my chest, at least I deflected most of the crap falling down on me, and crawled to the doorway. Every friggin car alarm went off, my aquarium pump disengaged and water was spewing all over. What a disaster. No more for me.
    5.5 is when they start getting serious in my book. Been through several of that size.

  2. told you global hell opened up last year we will see misery and global civil war. We will see 4 of July second anniversary of double quakes in CA a major quake of 7 plus.

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