Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 10: Earthquakes in Utah

The closest faults to my home in Pleasant Grove are:
1.  Wasatch Fault, Provo Section
2.  Utah Lake Faults
3.  Southern Oquirrh Mountain Faults

In the past week, a few seismic events have occurred near my home. One was a 2.1 magnitude earthquake northeast of Morgan on November 10 at 7:25 PM*. Another earthquake, magnitude 1.2, hit Morgan itself on November 13 at 9:37 AM. More recently, a magnitude 2.1 earthquake occurred in Goshen on November 15 at 7:43 PM.

Utah is seismically active because it is the transition between the thinner Basin and Range Province to the west and the thicker Rocky Mountain and Colorado Plateau Provinces. For at least 15 million years, the crust under this transition zone has been stretched. Faults move when built-up stress is suddenly released and blocks of the earth's crust slide against each other.

The most important things for my students to know about earthquakes:

1.  In the past 150 years, Utah has experienced about 15 earthquakes magnitude 5.5 and above.
2.  Urban areas near the Wasatch Fault are at the most risk for an earthquake.
3.  Earthquakes can also cause other damage, such as fires or leakage of hazardous materials.
4.  Have a disaster plan in place with your family--what to do during an earthquake. (Drop, Cover, and Hold on!)
5.  Have a plan with your family for what do to after the earthquake, e.g. where to meet if separated.
6.  Have emergency materials both in your home and in your car.
7.  Along with emergency materials, keep some emergency money in the form of small bills.
8.  Be aware of hazards in your home, such as heavy wall hangings, mirrors, and pottery that could       fall on someone. Imagine the scene at six o'clock on "Mary Poppins."
9.  Older homes, schools, and workplaces may need to be retrofitted.
10. Once you are prepared, sit back and relax. You have done everything you can, now live your life and don't worry about the "Big One" until it comes.

*In the time between when I wrote this and when I downloaded the pictures, this earthquake disappeared from the map, as it was more than a week since its occurrence.

No comments:

Post a Comment