Swarm of earthquakes rock Arizona
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a swarm of earthquakes in the state of Arizona.
There were 18 smaller earthquakes that were recorded from March 29 April 3. There have been additional earthquakes in the week since, with a 3.0 magnitude shake recorded in Eastern Arizona on the morning of April 12th.
“We’ve seen them as low as a magnitude of .7,” said Dr. Lee Allison of the AZ Geological Survey. “The other day we saw 2.6 and on Wednesday night we saw 2.7.”
The earthquakes and their patterns are tracked at the AZ Geological Survey in Tucson, Arizona. Not only do they track past earthquakes, they also use the information from those to prepare for future events. This includes looking at faults, or a fracture in a volume of a rock.
“The earthquakes will help us evaluate if the faults that these earthquakes are happening on are active,” said Allison. “If there are there new faults that we hadn’t seen or hadn’t reached the surface.”
While the numbers on the magnitude scale are unusual in terms of day-to-day, there have been large earthquakes in Arizona recently.
“We’ve had three or four major or moderate size earthquakes in Arizona over the past five to seven years,” said Dr. Michael Conway of the AZ Geological Survey. “The one that probably received the most attention was the magnitude 5.3 in June of 2014.”
That earthquake was felt in Duncan on the eastern border of Arizona.
While a state like California may receive more earthquakes than Arizona, that does not mean that the Grand Canyon state does not receive a great number of shakes of its own.
“Arizona does have earthquakes we don’t know a lot about all of them and we’re trying to learn more,” said Allison. “But you shouldn’t go on pretending that or hoping that we don’t live in earthquake country, we do.”