Salt Lake City – University of Utah researchers say the unusual sequence of earthquakes that hit central Utah in 2018 and 2019 are reminiscent of Utah’s old volcanoes in that area. Fortunately, they say there are no indications of an imminent eruption.
The research, first published in Geophysical Research Letters last month, centers on a sequence of bizarre earthquakes in the Black Rock Desert near Fillmore, a quake in central Utah on Sept. 12, 2018. And again, on April 14, 2019, the earthquake was magnitude 4.0 and 4.1, respectively, and caused multiple aftershocks.
The location for both earthquakes was the Black Rock Desert Volcanic Region located in central Utah between I-15 and Utah-Nevada, the last volcanic area erupted about 720 years ago, resulting in a rock cone. Basalt and flow through Ice Springs, according to the US Geological Survey.
In addition to earthquakes detected by the Utah regional earthquake network, they were also captured by temporary seismic devices less than 20 miles from the desert to inspect geothermal wells for other projects.
A team of researchers from the University of Utah, USGS and the University of Iowa analyzed the data. The transient device detects 35 aftershocks after an earthquake in 2019, which is almost twice as likely as normal systems.
They found the earthquake was 11⁄2 miles below the surface, which was relatively shallow for the earthquake. For example, the 5.7 magnitude earthquake that shook the Wasatch Front last year occurred about 6 miles below the Earth’s surface. Mid-Utah earthquakes 2018 and 2019 were not related to the magna earthquake, the largest in Utah since 1992.
Additionally, earthquakes do not produce “shear waves”, which is typical for earthquakes in Utah. The frequency of earthquake power is also much lower than a typical Utah earthquake, Maria Mesimeri, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah Station Seismograph and the study’s lead author, said in a press release on Tuesday.
“Because these earthquakes are very shallow, we can measure surface irregularities. It is unusual for this small earthquake (due to earthquakes) using satellites, ”she said.
The data led researchers to believe that earthquakes were not caused by a collision like most Utah earthquakes. But they say their research indicates that these earthquakes are the result of ongoing activity in the desert volcanic region.
Mesimeri said there could be earthquakes either from magma or warm water that gets closer to the surface and causes earthquakes.
“Our findings suggest that the system is still active and that earthquakes are likely to be the result of fluid-related movements in common areas,” she said. The result of fluid deformation that emphasizes surface irregularities. “
She added that the good news had no reason to believe the recent earthquake was a warning sign of an imminent eruption. It means that it is a place where researchers may want to pay more attention to it.
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