I am happy to report the University of Utah Seismograph Sta- tions (UUSS) had another exciting and productive year in 2017. Thanks to all of you who support and promote our mission of reducing the risk of earthquakes in Utah through research, edu- cation, and public service.
An Mw 5.3 earthquake on Sept. 2, 2017, in southeastern Idaho reminded us that we absolutely do live in earthquake country. Thankfully, this earthquake caused little damage, but its shaking was felt throughout northern Utah, as far south as Provo. UUSS responded to the earthquake by partnering with the U.S. Geo- logical Survey and the Idaho Geological Survey to deploy a tem- porary array of seismographs in the source region. Using these data, we detected and located over 1,000 aftershocks in the two months following the mainshock. This allowed us to map out a previously unknown fault system.
UUSS also recorded enhanced seismicity in Yellowstone Na- tional Park during 2017. Between June 12 and Sept. 30, a swarm of over 2,400 earthquakes was recorded in the Maple Creek re- gion of Yellowstone. The largest event in the swarm was an Mw 4.4 earthquake on June 15 that was widely felt throughout the park. Although earthquake swarms in Yellowstone are common, this was the second longest swarm ever recorded. Yellowstone earthquake swarms are often related to the movement of fluids in the crust and usually do not portend a volcanic eruption; howev- er, it remains important to monitor them closely.
In 2017, UUSS continued working with the University of Utah team vying to host the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geo- thermal Energy (FORGE). This project is sponsored by the U. S. Dept. of Energy and aims to build a facility for developing tech- nologies related to enhanced geothermal energy production. The UUSS FORGE effort is led by Prof. Kris Pankow and is focused on quantifying the seismic hazard near the proposed FORGE site in Milford, Utah. Utah is one of two finalists for this project, and the winner will be announced in 2018.
We look forward to another exciting year in 2018. I encourage you to visit our web page at quake.utah.edu to stay up-to-date on our initiatives and products as well as to find out about the lat- est seismic activity in Utah and Yellowstone. You can also follow UUSS on Twitter with the handle @UUSSquake.
Best wishes, Keith D. Koper