2019 Annual Report

2019 was an exciting year for the University of Utah Seismograph Stations. We welcomed new students and staff, had an earthquake sequence widely felt in the Salt Lake Valley, and were involved in several interesting research projects.

We welcomed several new faces to our team. Dr. Ben Baker joined us as a research scientist and co-taught a new course “Statistical Applications to Earthquake Seismology” with associate director Kris Pankow, to great student reception. We also gained full-time communications specialist Rebecca Sumsion. UUSS brought on two postdoctoral research associates: Dr. Maria Mesimeri and Dr. James Holt. They’ve been a great contribution to important research projects.

At the beginning of the year, there was excitement in Bluffdale, Utah, at the south end of the Salt Lake Valley where an earthquake sequence took place between February – April. The event generated a lot of public interest since the sequence occurred in a densely populated area. UUSS received a lot of media attention and we participated in several interviews for local news networks and newspapers.

We’re proud of the many graduate and undergraduate students we have working for us. 2019 brought a lot of opportunity for great student-led research projects. Research projects included investigating the fault location of the Bluffdale sequence, earthquakes that occurred around the Utah FORGE seismometer deployment and an intriguing swarm near the San Rafael Swell.

We are excited to announce that we joined the International Seismological Centre and are looking forward to the exposure this opportunity will provide. UUSS also joined in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Utah Seismic Safety Commission at the state capitol.

2019 closed with the annual American Geophysical Union fall meeting. UUSS had a strong representation and were included in several presentations. I’m proud of the work we do and look forward to more opportunities in 2020.

Make sure to follow us on social media: @uussquake on Twitter and Instagram and @UUSeismographStations on Facebook.

Best Wishes, Keith D. Koper, UUSS Director

2020 – Magna, UT – M 5.7

Intermountain Seismic Belt Historical Earthquake Project

March 18, 2020 – Magna, UT – M 5.7


On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Utah was jolted by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake that occurred 3.1 miles north of Magna, Utah. The shaking from the earthquake was widely felt throughout the Wasatch Front area of north-central Utah.

Interest from the public was high. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of quarantine, this was the first moderate-sized earthquake many Utah residents experienced. Social media and other digital coverage made it a widely-covered event.

There were no serious injuries or deaths that were recorded. Several buildings sustained damages as a result of the earthquake. Magna’s main street and a nearby trailer park were the hardest hit areas. Most of the damage occurred on buildings with unreinforced masonry. Total damage estimates were around $48.5 million a month after the mainshock. 

The M5.7 was the largest earthquake to occur in Utah since a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 1992 in southwestern Utah near St. George. The earthquake occurred in a seismically active part of the Salt Lake Valley. Before March 18, the area experienced six magnitude 3.0 or larger earthquakes since 1962, the largest being the magnitude 5.2 on September 5, 1962.

The M5.7 was designated the mainshock of the Magna Earthquake Sequence. There were no foreshocks. Over the course of 2–3 months, the aftershocks grew to number over 2,000. This count included 6 earthquakes in the M4 range and 34 earthquakes in the M3 range.

For additional information about this earthquake:

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

For more information about this project:

ISB Hist EQ Proj

M 3.0 Felt Near Cedar City, UT

PRESS RELEASE

University of Utah Seismograph Stations

Released: April 08, 2021 12:45 AM MDT

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a minor earthquake of magnitude 3.0 occurred at 11:45 PM on April 07, 2021 (MDT). The epicenter of the shock was located 1.6 mi southwest of Summit, UT, 8.5 mi northwest of Brian Head, UT, and 9.3 mi northeast of Cedar City, UT. This earthquake was reported felt in Brian Head and Cedar City. A total of 28 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred within 16 mi of the epicenter of this event since 1962. The largest of these events was a magnitude 4.2 on June 28, 1992, 7.5 mi WNW of Cedar City, UT. One earthquake of magnitude 4.5 or greater has occurred within 32 mi of the epicenter of this event since 1962. This was a magnitude 4.6 on April 20, 1991, 13.2 mi SE of Minersville, UT.

Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on the US Geological Survey website: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/uu60432212/executive

Earthquake Summary:

Date (UTC): April 08, 2021 Time (UTC): 05:45

Date (local): April 07, 2021 Time (local): 11:45 PM MDT

Latitude: 37 46.98′ N

Longitude: 112 57.37′ W

Preferred magnitude: 3.00 Ml

M 3.0 Near Richfield, UT

PRESS RELEASE

University of Utah Seismograph Stations

Released: April 05, 2021 04:00 PM MDT

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that a minor earthquake of magnitude 3.0 occurred at 02:56 PM on April 05, 2021 (MDT). The epicenter of the shock was located beneath Central Valley in south-central Utah, three miles south-southwest of the city of Richfield, Utah. This earthquake was reported felt in Richfield and in the nearby towns of Monroe and Salina. Today’s earthquake occurred within a seismically active area of Utah. Since 1962, 32 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater have occurred within 16 mi of the epicenter of today’s event. The largest of these events was a magnitude 5.2 on October 04, 1967, located 6.3 mi east-southeast of the town of Sevier, UT.

Anyone who felt the earthquake is encouraged to fill out a survey form on the US Geological Survey website: earthquake.usgs.gov.

Earthquake Summary:

Date (UTC): April 05, 2021

Time (UTC): 20:56

Date (local): April 05, 2021

Time (local): 02:56 PM MDT

Latitude: 38 43.87′ N

Longitude: 112 6.23′ W

Preferred magnitude: 3.00 Ml