How Big and How Frequent Are Earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault?

A team of scientists from the USGS Geological Hazards Science Center, led by Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow Scott Bennett and Research Geologists Ryan Gold, Richard Briggs, Christopher DuRoss, and Stephen Personius are collaborating with scientists at the Utah Geological Survey to gather data from new paleoseismic trenches along the Wasatch fault zone. These new datasets will help researchers to understand if past surface-rupturing earthquakes have spanned fault segment boundaries. They are also analyzing new high-resolution airborne LiDAR topographic data to characterize previously unmapped fault traces and to measure how vertical displacements (vertical offset of the ground surface from faulting) vary, both in space (from north to south) and time (the last 20,000 years).