PRESS RELEASE: Utah Earthquakes (1850–2016) and Quaternary Fault Map


Media Contacts

Steve Bowman (UGS)

Walter Arabasz (UUSS)

Emergency Response
Robert Carey (UDEM)

New Map of Utah Earthquakes and Faults Now Available

Salt Lake City (Sept. 21, 2017) – The Utah Geological Survey (UGS), University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS), and Utah Division of Emergency Management (UDEM) recently published the Utah Earthquakes (1850–2016) and Quaternary Fault Map (UGS Map 277). The new map shows earthquakes within and surrounding Utah from 1850 to 2016, and faults considered to be sources of large earthquakes.

The faults shown on the map are considered geologically active, have been sources of large earthquakes (about magnitude 6.5 and greater) during the Quaternary Period (past 2.6 million years), and are the most likely sources of large earthquakes in the future. Most of the small to moderate-sized earthquakes on the map are “background” earthquakes not readily associated with known faults and too small to have triggered surface faulting (under about magnitude 6.5).

There is a 57% probability (over 1 in 2 chance) that a magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquake will occur in the Wasatch Front region in the next 50 years. To address this threat, the Utah Earthquake Program ( consisting of the UGS, UUSS, and the UDEM, developed the map so the public could more fully understand the hazard from earthquakes and faults, as well as the resulting risk to property, infrastructure, and life safety in Utah. Users of the map will be able to determine past earthquake locations and relative magnitudes (size), along with the locations of active faults and the timing of their most recent movement.

Printed copies of the map are available for $15 at the Utah Department of Natural Resources Map & Bookstore ( The map is also available as a PDF download at (44 by 62 inches in size) and can be printed on a wide-format printer.

Additional information on the hazard and resulting risk from earthquakes is available at, from the Utah Seismic Safety Commission at, and at the agency websites:


The Utah Geological Survey provides timely scientific information about Utah’s geologic environment, resources, and hazards. It is one of seven divisions within the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

Utah will conduct “Great Shake Out” earth quake drill

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah will be conducting a “Great Shake Out” drill for earthquake awareness in late April.


3.3 magnitude quake reported Sunday in southwestern Utah

(AP) The University of Utah Seismograph Stations has reported a minor earthquake in the southwestern part of the state.


‘Fix the Bricks’ will help SLC residents make old homes safer in case of earthquake

SALT LAKE CITY — A big earthquake is predicted to rattle the Salt Lake Valley sometime in the next 50 years, and Salt Lake City has a new program to help those homeowners with houses built earlier than 1970.


The Geology Behind Italy’s Catastrophic Quake

At least 73 people died in the mountains of central Italy this morning when a magnitude 6.2 earthquake and a series of at least 40 aftershocks shook the Umbria, Lazio and Marche regions.


Small earthquake shakes southern Uintas

Anyone feel this small earthquake this morning in the southern Uinta Mountains?

According to the Univeristy of Utah seismic report on this event, “The Uinta Mountains and Wyoming Basin are stable parts of the North American tectonic plate that are relatively unaffected by geologically young crustal deformation; only minor, ambiguous evidence of possible young faulting is found in the area.” Find this and other information in their report HERE.

A small earthquake shook the southern Uinta Mountains early Wednesday, according to the University of Utah Seismograph Station.


Earthquake country laid bare

Signs of earthquakes are everywhere in the chaotically beautiful geology of southwest Utah and the region where the mile-high Colorado Plateau falls off into the corrugated Basin-and-Range landscape that dominates neighboring Nevada.


Earthquake report spurs retrofitting in Utah, Nevada

A new report raising the likelihood of a destructive earthquake striking Salt Lake City in the next half century has underscored the urgency to retrofit more than 30,000 older brick homes and other unreinforced buildings at high risk of collapsing.


Great Utah ShakeOut: Preparing for the unthinkable, but inevitable

Tomorrow is Utah’s Great ShakeOut Drill, are you going to participate? Simple drills can help you be prepared to act in the event of an actual earthquake.

Nearly 1 million Utahns are signed up to participate in this year’s edition of the Great Utah ShakeOut, setting aside Thursday for events and education aimed at preparing for the inevitable Big One.


The Really Big One

When the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Japan, Chris Goldfinger was two hundred miles away, in the city of Kashiwa, at an international meeting on seismology. As the shaking started, everyone in the room began to laugh. Earthquakes are common in Japan—that one was the third of the week—and the participants were, after all, at a seismology conference. Then everyone in the room checked the time.