By David Martin
Publisher 

Earthquake recorded northwest of Green River

 

February 27, 2019



A mild earthquake was recorded northwest of Green River Friday afternoon, according to records from University of Utah seismograph stations.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake took place at 2:55 p.m., Friday and registered a magnitude 3.1. The shallow earthquake occurred at a depth of 1.7 kilometers.

The quake did not impact operations at Genesis Alkali. David Caplan, director of corporate communications for the facility, said the mine has emergency response plans for multiple scenarios, including seismic activity. However, the activity was so low it did not warrant a response under the emergency plan. Caplan said the mine has also cooperated with the University of Utah in monitoring seismic activity, saying the university installed an additional monitor within Genesis Alkali’s mine permit boundary in 2018.

According to information from the USGS website, eathquake.usgs.gov, few earthquakes are recoded east of the Intermountain Seismic Belt in the Uinta Mountains and nearby Wyoming Basin, with recorded earthquakes in the area tending to be small.


The website also notes earthquakes associated with trona mining tend to be small as well, though an earthquake pamphlet from the University of Wyoming’s Water Resources Data System and Wyoming State Climate Office notes an magnitude-5.3 earthquake was recorded Feb. 3, 1995 near Little America and associated with a mine collapse. The event occurred at the Solvay Chemicals mine, involving a 3,000-foot by 7,000-foot portion of the mine collapsing. One miner died during the incident.

The pamphlet states the earthquake was felt as far away as Rock Springs and Salt Lake City, with minor damage reported to buildings in Green River and Little America.

 

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