M 4.1 near Kanosh, UT

University of Utah Seismograph Stations
Released: April 13, 2019 11:55 PM MDT

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a light earthquake of magnitude 4.1 occurred at 9:59 PM on April 13, 2019 (MDT).  The epicenter of the shock was located near the Twin Peaks in the southern Sevier Desert, 11 miles east-northeast of the town of Black Rock, UT, and 18 mi west of the town of Kanosh, UT.  Two aftershocks occurred within the first hour after the M 4.1 earthquake, a magnitude 2.7 at 10:09 pm and a magnitude 1.7 at 10:32 pm.   Earlier this year on February 20, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake occurred 15 miles east of today’s earthquake and 5.5 miles south-southwest of Kanosh.  A total of 18 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 to 4.0 have occurred within 16 miles of the epicenter of today’s event since 1962.

Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on the US Geological Survey “Did You Feet it?” website.

M 2.4 felt near Saratoga Springs, UT

PRESS RELEASE

University of Utah Seismograph Stations
Released: April 10, 2019 09:45 PM MDT

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that an earthquake of magnitude 2.4 occurred at 08:06 PM on April 10, 2019 (MDT). The epicenter of the shock was located beneath the city of Saratoga Springs, Utah, along the northwestern shore of Utah Lake. This earthquake was reported felt in the northern Utah Valley cities of Saratoga Springs, Lehi, and Eagle Mountain. A total of 8 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred within 16 miles of the epicenter of this event since 1962. Earthquakes the size of today’s event or larger occur on the average of once per week somewhere in the Utah region.

Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on the US Geological Survey “Did You Feet it?” website.

1935 – Helena, MT (series) – M 6¼

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

October 18, 1935 – Helena, MT (series) – M 6¼

October 12, 1935 – Foreshock (M 5.9)

This early morning earthquake (12:50 a.m. local time) caused many frightened residents to run from their homes. It was reported that despite the alarm people felt, many maintained a sense of humor about the event as they gathered in the streets and swapped stories of their experiences. No deaths resulting from the foreshock were reported.

Reports described damage as severe and widespread throughout the city. Windows were broken, stock was shaken from store shelves, pipes and wires were broken, chimneys toppled, furniture overturned, walls were cracked and plaster was shaken from walls and ceilings. It was reported that City Engineer Oscar Baarson estimated total damages between $50,000 and $75,000.

Following the foreshock, two officials advised taking measures to make buildings more earthquake resistant. Suggested measures included bracing chimneys, deeper foundations especially on loose soils, fastening brick veneers to walls, discontinuing the use of veneers altogether. Other suggestions included revising the building codes to make structures more earthquake resistant.

The earthquake was reported felt in Great Falls, Butte and Dillon, MT. Additional smaller earthquakes continued to be felt. In a news article published on October 17 it was reported that the Helena Weather Bureau had recorded a total of 52 earthquakes as of October 16 with the latest two quakes being 12 hours and 45 minutes apart. The article concluded that, “The fact that the quivers are so far apart indicates that the ‘earthquake season’ is drawing to a conclusion.”

October 18, 1935 – Main Shock (M 6¼)

At 9:48 p.m. (local time) the city was rocked by the magnitude 6¼ main shock. Some individuals screamed and ran from buildings. One person was reported killed when he was crushed under a brick wall that fell into the street. Another died from injuries sustained from a building collapse. A score or more individuals were seriously injured, most from being struck by falling debris as they ran out of buildings. As terrified people fled the city by car, a number of automobile accidents occurred resulting in additional injuries.

The earthquake knocked out lights and power for approximately an hour causing further terror, and difficulty for doctors attempting to treat the injured.

Significant damage occurred to many buildings with some entirely destroyed. Approximately 300 homes were damaged so badly as to be uninhabitable. One report described the streets being strewn with debris. Telephone service was interrupted for more than two hours.

City Engineer Oscar Baarson estimated damages from the earthquake at a minimum of $2,500,000. A report on October 21 indicated that Mr. Baarson requested patience as he and a crew of seven worked their way through several hundred requests for damage inspections.

The American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and National Guard, assisted in providing first aid stations, sleeping quarters and kitchens for the hundreds of people rendered homeless by the earthquake. The local Y.M.C.A. invited homeless individuals to shower at their facilities for no cost. Authorities estimated it would be a week before people were allowed to resume normal affairs in the city.

The Red Cross reported 100 requests (representing approximately 400 individuals) for emergency food and medical care. The Red Cross also prepared to assist with a home rebuilding program for families in need. Local banks pledged resources for making home repair loans as approved by the Federal Housing Administration.

Surface cracks 150 feet long, three feet deep and several inches wide were reported at one location in the Helena Valley.

The earthquake was reported felt over a wide area of western Montana, but no damage outside the city of Helena was reported. Additional felt reports were received from Washington and Idaho.

October 31, 1935 – Aftershock (M 6)

At 11:37 a.m. (local time) a significant aftershock occurred near East Helena, MT. One report noted that the shock surprised Helena residents, who had believed the worst of the shaking had occurred earlier in the month. The report also noted that aside from some fainting spells, little panic was observed. However, some individuals evacuated the city by car.

Cracked plaster and broken windows were reported. Two school buildings suffered significant damage. On the west side of the city, there were reports of fallen chimneys. However, on Helena’s east side, some buildings that had been only partly damaged by the main shock were completely destroyed when the aftershock occurred. It appeared that most of the damage was to structures already weakened by the main shock. Damage to buildings that had been unaffected by the main shock consisted mostly of cracks in plaster and exterior walls and damaged chimneys.

Two brick masons, part of a crew from Salt Lake City, were killed from falling bricks as they were removing a smokestack at the local brewery. There were at least nine individuals who suffered serious injuries during the aftershock.

The north wing of the new Helena High School, already badly damaged from the main shock, completely collapsed during the October 31 aftershock. It was reported that 25-30 men who were working in the building escaped without injury thanks in part, to their foreman who shouted reminders for them not to run out of the structure.

Plans to open city schools following the main shock were cancelled when the aftershock occurred. It was later decided that schools would not open until after the new year.

November 28, 1935 – Aftershock (M 5.5)

Less than a month later, the city experienced another significant aftershock that struck at 7:41 a.m. (local time). The earthquake did not cause significant new damage in the city of Helena. It was, however, reported to be among the strongest of the series felt outside the area in locations such as Great Falls, Butte, Missoula, Kalispell and Deer Lodge among others. Bozeman reported only light shaking.

Following the earthquake, City Engineer Oscar Baarson revised his estimate of total damages from the earthquake series to $5,000,000.00 or more.

For additional information about this earthquake:

Earthquake Summary 3D Newspaper Articles 3D Photos 3D Blank Thumbnail
Personal Accounts 3D Additional Resources 3D Blank Thumbnail Blank Thumbnail

For more information about this project:

ISB Hist EQ Proj

2019 Bluffdale Earthquake Sequence FAQ

How many earthquakes have we had in the Bluffdale area?
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) has located 160 earthquakes that occurred in the Bluffdale, Utah, area from February 13 until 10:00 am MST on March 5 (Figure 1).  The largest of these earthquakes was the magnitude (M) 3.7 mainshock that occurred at 5:09 am MST on Friday, February 15.  Of the remaining 159 earthquakes, 13 occurred before the M 3.7 and, in retrospect, are considered to be foreshocks.  The largest foreshock, and the only one larger than M 2.0, was an M 3.2 event that occurred seven minutes before the mainshock.   146 of the earthquakes are aftershocks.  The largest aftershock was an M 3.1 event that occurred on Saturday, February 23, at 2:31 am MST.  There have been seven aftershocks of M 2.0 and larger, including the M 3.1.

Was the M 4.0 earthquake that occurred on Wednesday, February 20, near the town of Kanosh in Central Utah related to the recent Bluffdale earthquakes?
No, the February 20 M 4.0 earthquake in central Utah is not related to the Bluffdale earthquakes.  The distance between these areas of recent earthquake activity is more than 120 miles.  The M 3.7 Bluffdale mainshock was too small to trigger other earthquakes at such a large distance.

Are these earthquakes occurring on the Wasatch Fault?
Within the uncertainties in the data, it is possible that the Bluffdale earthquakes are occurring on the nearby Wasatch fault (Figure 3). However, it is also possible that they are occurring on a minor, unnamed fault. It is generally difficult to know for sure which fault an earthquake is on, due to uncertainties in the locations of both faults and earthquakes below the ground surface.  The main exceptions are when an earthquake is large enough for the fault displacement that caused the earthquake to break the ground surface and create a fault scarp.  In Utah, an earthquake usually needs to be larger than M 6.0-6.5 for a surface break to occur.

Do these small earthquakes make a big one less likely?
No, small earthquakes do not relieve enough stress buildup in the earth to reduce the likelihood of a large earthquake. In fact, every earthquake that occurs has a small, roughly one-in twenty, chance of being a foreshock to a larger earthquake within five days.  A “Larger” earthquake means any earthquake bigger than the one that just occurred, even if it is only 0.1 magnitude units bigger.  The probability of an earthquake being a foreshock to an earthquake that is one or two magnitude units larger is much smaller than one-in-twenty.

Are the recent Blufdale earthquakes unusual?
No, not in the context of statewide earthquake activity.  Small earthquakes occur every day in Utah, although most of them are too small or too far from population centers to be felt.  On the average, the Utah region has one M ≥ 4.0 earthquake per year and one M ≥ 3.0 earthquake per month, not counting foreshocks and aftershocks.  The 2019 Bluffdale earthquakes are within an east-west trending band of seismicity across the southern end of the Salt Lake Valley that has had earthquakes off and on since at least 1971, including events of M 4.1 in 1992 and M 3.2 in 2016 (Figure 3).  The recent earthquakes near Bluffdale serve as a reminder that Utah is earthquake country and a large, damaging earthquake could occur at any time. Therefore, everyone living in Utah should strive to be prepared for large earthquakes.

What can I do to be prepared?
An excellent source of information on earthquake preparedness is the publication “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country”.

M 4.5 near Bedrock, Co widely felt in Moab area.

Press Release:

Released: March 4, 2019 11:45 AM MST

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a light earthquake of magnitude 4.5 occurred at 10:22 AM on March 04, 2019 (MST). The epicenter of the shock was located in Slick Rock Canyon in southwestern Colorado, 2.6 miles south-southwest of the town of Bedrock, Colorado, and 7 miles south-southeast of the town of Paradox, Colorado.
This earthquake was widely felt in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, including the cities of Grand Junction, Colorado, and Moab, Utah. This earthquake was followed by an M 2.0 aftershock at 10:41 am MST. A total of 8 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred within 16 miles of the epicenter of today’s earthquake since 1962. The largest of these previous events was a magnitude 4.4 on May 27, 2000, located 2.2 miles northeast of today’s event.

Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on the US Geological Survey “Did You Feet it?” website.

M 4.0 Near Kanosh, UT

PRESS RELEASE

University of Utah Seismograph Stations

Released: February 20, 2019 01:45 AM MST

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a light earthquake of magnitude 4.0 occurred at 12:05 AM on February 20, 2019(MST). The epicenter of the shock was located in central Utah in the southwestern part of the Pavant Range, 5.3 mi south-southwest of the town of Kanosh, UT, and 18 miles southwest of the city of Fillmore. This earthquake was reported felt in the cities of Fillmore, Monroe, and Richfield, Utah. Three small aftershocks occurred within the first 45 minutes after the mainshock, all of magnitude less than 2.0.

A magnitude 3.3 earthquake occurred in the same area last Saturday
at 3:05 pm MST. A total of 28 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred within 16 miles of the epicenter of today’s event since 1962. The largest of these earthquakes was a magnitude 4.0 on February 23, 2001, located 8.2 mi southwest of Kanosh. In 1967, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake occurred 23 miles to the southeast of today’s event.

Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on the US Geological Survey “Did You Feet it?” website.

M 3.7 near Blufdale, UT

PRESS RELEASE

University of Utah Seismograph Stations Released: February 15, 2019 06:45 AM MST

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a minor earthquake of magnitude 3.7 occurred at 5:09 AM on February 15, 2019 (MST).  The epicenter of the shock was located at the southern end of the Salt Lake Valley, 1.8 miles south of the town of Bluffdale, UT.

This earthquake was preceded by a magnitude 3.2 foreshock at 5:02 am and was followed by six aftershocks, all smaller than magnitude 2.

This morning’s earthquake was reported felt by more than 7,000 residents of the Salt Lake Valley and Utah Valley.  The foreshock was also reported felt.  Since 1962, five earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred within 16 miles of the epicenter of today’s event.  The largest of these events was a magnitude 4.1 on March 16, 1992, located six miles west-southwest of Bluffdale, UT.

Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on the US Geological Survey “Did You Feet it?” website.

Magnitude 3.8 near Enterprise, UT

Press Release

Released: January 16, 2019 03:30 PM MST

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a minor earthquake of magnitude 3.8 occurred at 03:00 PM on January 16, 2019 (MST).  The epicenter of the shock was located in southwestern Utah, 1.4 miles south of Upper Enterprise Reservoir and 10 miles SW of the town of Enterprise, UT.  A magnitude 2.8 foreshock occurred two minutes before the magnitude 3.8 earthquake.  Ten other earthquakes have occurred in this same area during the past week, ranging in magnitude from 0.8 to 2.9.  Earthquake activity in this area is not unusual.  A total of 11 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred since 1962 within 16 miles of today’s earthquakes.  The largest of these events was a magnitude 4.3 on January 15, 2016, located 12 miles WSW of the town of Enterprise.

Today’s M 3.8 earthquake was reported felt in the town of Central, UT, 14 miles NE of the epicenter, and in the town of Ivins. UT. Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on the US Geological Survey “Did You Feet it?” website.