What’s up with the ‘swarm’ of earthquakes hitting the Salton Sea?

Bombay Beach

The Salton Sea area, best known for its amazing smell and being the name of that Val Kilmer movie where they plan on stealing Bob Hope’s poop, has seen hundreds of earthquakes so far this week. According to scientists, this “swarm” of quakes (you thought perhaps a group of quakes was a herd or a murder?) is not uncommon for the area.

The 200 small earthquakes – including three with a magnitude over 4 – mostly hit the Bombay Beach area and, as the LA Times notes, is not uncommon for the area:

The sea sits atop a very thin crust that is being constantly stretched as the North American and Pacific plates grind against each other. The area is also veined by dozens of faults — most notably the San Andreeas — that run parallel to and crisscross one another.

Scientists believe that because of the thinness of the crust, hotter material can get closer to the surface and cause temblors.

The quakes began Monday and started to decrease in frequency on Tuesday.  And while a “swarm” of quakes may sound awful, earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones says that the quakes are not a sign “the big one” is coming: