Historic Earthquakes

Cedar Mountain, Nevada
1932 Dec 21 06:10:05 UTC (Local 12/20)
Magnitude 7.2
Intensity X

This major earthquake originated in an uninhabited desert region of western Nevada, near Cedar Mountain, and therefore caused minimal property loss. Two cabins, one of stone and the other of adobe, were destroyed, and ore-treating plants and mines were damaged. The main shock was strong at Fallon, Mina, Luning, Tonopah, and at many other Nevada towns. Many chimneys were downed in Mineral County, at Luning and Mina. In addition, walls fell and cracks formed in the ground at Luning.

Extensive and complicated faulting occurred over an area 63 kilometers long and 6 to 14.5 kilometers wide in the valley between Gabbs Valley Range and Pilot Peak on the west and Paradise Range and Cedar Mountains on the east, northeast of Mina. In this area, 60 en echelon rifts as much as 6 kilometers in length and 122 meters in width were found. The rifts consisted of zones of fissures that commonly revealed vertical displacement, and in several places showed horizontal displacement. Boulders were shaken from cliffs and hillsides in many places; large landslides occurred; and the flow of ground water either increased or decreased in some springs and wells. Felt from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and from San Diego to southern Oregon. One foreshock and many aftershocks occurred.

Abridged from Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), by Carl W. Stover and Jerry L. Coffman, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1993.