Utah

3.2 Magnitude earthquake felt in northern Utah on Tuesday, 14 seismic events in that location since New Year’s Day

UTAH — Earthquakes are a reality for many regions regardless of whether the area is on a boundary of tectonic plates or not. Utah is a prime example, as it has seen 17 earthquakes of a magnitude of 5.5 or greater since 1847. Although minor by comparison, the 3.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred on Tuesday near Logan at a depth of .8 kilometers is still large enough to be felt and is the largest in Utah since the 3.6 magnitude earthquake in Brigham City in November of 2022. In total, there have been 14 seismic events in the same location since New Year’s Day, according to the University of Utah’s data from their seismograph stations.

Geological studies of Utah tell a story of several large earthquakes of 6.5 or greater prior to the state being settled. Even though the North American and Pacific Plates boundary is hundreds of miles away, those interactions are still related to seismic events in Utah. A comparison of energy release equivalents and the seismic wave of energy released in earthquakes show that the 3.2-magnitude earthquake near Logan would be similar to the energy released from a large lightning bolt.

Graph showing historic earthquakes and equivalent energy release comparisons to magnitude levels.
Graph showing historical earthquakes and equivalent energy release comparisons to magnitude levels. Courtesy of Earthquakes.Utah.Gov

With any earthquake, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducts a survey to help collect data on the range at which the seismic event was felt. Currently, 441 people reported that they felt Tuesday’s earthquake, with 165 being 25 kilometers away in Logan.

Intensity map created from public responses to survey saying they felt the earthquake.
An intensity map was created from public responses to the survey saying they felt the earthquake. Courtesy of USGS.

More information about earthquakes in Utah with information such as Utah’s magnitude size potential and what to do in the event that an earthquake occurs can be found on the state’s earthquake website.

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