On February 5th the UUSS website will be switching over to SSL. This will change our web address from http://quake.utah.edu to https://quake.utah.edu.
Some links may break, including live seismograms (webicorders). If you link to our site, please update your links with https rather than http.
The successful applicant will work with UUSS faculty, staff, and students on problems related to induced seismicity. UUSS has active projects related to enhanced geothermal development, mining induced seismicity, and discrimination of explosions from earthquakes. Potential research topics include (1) discrimination of tectonic earthquakes from induced earthquakes and non-earthquake sources, (2) estimation of full moment tensors for small-to-moderate seismic events, (3) estimation of fault parameters of micro-earthquakes, (4) detection and high-resolution multi-event relocation of induced seismic sequences. While primary datasets are available from regional seismic networks, in some cases supplemental data will be generated using the University of Utah pool of over 150 three-component, short-period (5 Hz) Nodal seismometers.
The position is renewable for a second year pending acceptable progress and availability of funding. Opportunities for teaching, mentoring, and outreach will be made available for those interested in pursuing an academic track.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations reports that four minor earthquakes of magnitude (M) 0.7 to 1.0 have occurred in northeastern Salt Lake City during the last eight days. The first two earthquakes occurred on Sunday, September 2, at 02:13 am (M 0.7) and 10:33 am (M 1.0) MDT. They were followed by an M 1.0 shock on Thursday, September 6, at 8:43 pm MDT and an M 0.8 shock at 3:48 pm MDT on Saturday, September 8. These four earthquakes occurred near the southeastern part of the University of Utah campus at shallow depths of less than 3.5 miles.
Residents of northeastern Salt Lake City have reported feeling and/or hearing these earthquakes, in some cases describing the noise as a loud boom. Earthquakes, especially very shallow ones, can generate noises that sound like booms or thunder to those nearby. The sound is generated by seismic waves vibrating the ground surface up and down like a loudspeaker.
Small magnitude seismic activity like the recent activity in northestern Salt Lake City is a common occurrence in the Wasatch Front region. The location of this recent activity appears to be too far east for it to be occurring on the Wasatch fault.
Anyone who felt or heard any of these earthquakes is encouraged to fill out a survey form which is available on the US Geological Survey website at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/da
Update about the ongoing Yellowstone earthquake swarm located on the southeast end of last summers (2017) Maple Creek Swarm. As of the night of February 18, over 200 earthquakes have been located in an area ~13 km (8 mi) NE of West Yellowstone, Montana. More information here.
In spring 2013, observation systems at Utah’s Bingham Canyon copper mine detected ground movement in a hillslope surrounding the mine’s open pit. Out of caution, mine managers evacuated personnel and shut down production, waiting for the inevitable.
On April 10, at 9:30 p.m. and again at 11:05 p.m., the slope gave way and thundered down into the pit, filling in part of what had been the largest man-made excavation in the world. Later analysis estimated that the landslide was at the time the largest non-volcanic slide in recorded North American history. Now, University of Utah geoscientists have revisited the slide with a combined analysis of aerial photos, computer modeling, and seismic data to pick apart the details. The total volume of rock that fell during the slide was 52 million cubic meters, they report, enough to cover Central Park with 50 feet of rock and dirt. The slide occurred in two main phases, but researchers used infrasound recordings and seismic data to discover 11 additional landslides that occurred between the two main events. Modeling and further seismic analysis revealed the average speeds at which the hillsides fell: 81 mph for the first main slide and 92 mph for the second, with peak speeds well over 150 mph.
The study shows how the team’s methods can be used to remotely characterize a landslide, and the details they elicited from the data may be useful in planning for and modeling future landslide events.
The results are published in Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface.
Animations of both phases of the slide can be found here:
AGU Fall Meeting 2016 (American Geophysical Union) presentations from UUSS and other University of Utah Seismologists.
- DI23A-2602 – Full Waveform Misfit Kernels for Fault Zone Seismic Waves in the San Jacinto Fault Zone.
- S43B-2849 – Constraints on Fault Damage Zone Properties and Normal Modes from a Dense Linear Array Deployment along the San Jacinto Fault Zone.
- V43G-01 – The Yellowstone Crustal Magmatic System: What we Know and What we Don’t Know.
- S53C-04 – Using a Large N Geophone Array to Identify Hydrothermal Seismic Sources in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park.
- S31A-2721 – Magnitude Based Discrimination of Manmade Seismic Events From Naturally Occurring Earthquakes in Utah, USA.
- V33E-3173 – Quantifying the Plutonic to Volcanic Relationship Along the Puna Plateau: Implications for Cordilleran Plateau Evolution.
Fix the Bricks is Salt lake City’s plan to help homeowners afford seismic improvments to homes.
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Dr. Hao Zhang recently joined the University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Earthquake Seismology. He comes to Utah from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University where he was a postdoctoral researcher.
Dr. Zhang received both his B.S. and Ph.D. in Geophysics from Peking University. His doctoral dissertation was titled, “Imaging the Rupture Processes of Earthquakes Using the Relative Backprojection Method”.
Some of his research accomplishments include:
- Rapidly resolving rupture processes of the 2015 Mw 7.8 Nepal earthquake and its Mw 7.3 aftershock using a multi-array back-projection method.
- Relocating a scattering source in the Lake Superior region.
- Detecting microseismic events and performing cluster analyses in the south Chicago suburban region.
- Studying the crustal structure in the Middle Continent Rift System using P-wave receiver functions.
- Investigating the topography of the 410 km discontinuity in the Java subduction zone using 3-D pre-stacked Kirchhoff migration.
Dr. Zhang will work with UUSS faculty, staff, and students on problems of earthquake detection, location, and characterization in the Intermountain West.
Kristine Pankow (Associate Director, UUSS) says, “We are excited to have Hao join our research team here at UUSS. He brings valuable skills that will help us move our research forward.”
Yellowstone is home to more geysers than any place on Earth, and researchers are still learning about how they work.
Rebecca Roland, park ranger at Yellowstone National Park.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS, quake.utah.edu) invites applications for a one-year appointment as Postdoctoral Research Associate in Earthquake Seismology. The successful applicant will work with UUSS faculty, staff, and students on problems of earthquake detection, location, and characterization in the Intermountain West. Potential research topics include (1) application of template detection methods to seismicity induced from geothermal and mining operations, as well as to naturally occurring seismic swarms and aftershock sequences, (2) high-resolution, multi-event relocation using methods such as Bayesloc and HypoDD, (3) estimation of full moment tensors for small-to-moderate seismic events using waveform inversion and first motion polarities, (4) discrimination of tectonic earthquakes from induced earthquakes and non-earthquake sources. While primary datasets are available from regional seismic networks, in some cases supplemental data will be generated using the University of Utah pool of 95 three-component, short-period (5 Hz) Nodal seismometers. The successful applicant will be expected to participate in the Nodal seismometer field campaigns. In addition to research, the successful applicant will be expected to serve rotations as a UUSS duty seismologist (leading the initial UUSS response to events of interest), which will periodically require 24/7 availability via cell/pager. A Ph.D. in geophysics or a related field is required at the time of appointment. The position is renewable for a second year, pending acceptable progress and availability of funding. Opportunities for teaching, mentoring, and outreach will be made available for those interested in pursuing an academic track. To apply submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and contact information for three references to the following webpage: https://utah.peopleadmin.com/postings/52629. The nominal start date is July 1, 2016, however there is flexibility in the actual start date. Review of applications will begin immediately. Questions may be directed to UUSS Director Keith Koper (firstname.lastname@example.org) or UUSS Associate Director Kris Pankow (email@example.com).