SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY

Utah Geological Survey learning more on connection between Wasatch and West Valley fault lines

May 16, 2023, 6:30 PM | Updated: May 17, 2023, 8:09 am

learning about fault lines...

Scientists are learning just how connected the Wasatch Fault line is to the West Valley fault line. Dr. Keith Koper, director of University of Utah Seismograph Stations, shows an earthquake pattern from a seismometer in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Scientists are learning just how connected the Wasatch Fault line is to the West Valley fault line.

Project Geologist with the Utah Geological Survey Adam Hiscock says the survey’s newest project, a trench dug along the fault lines, is helping the agency understand how earthquakes interact. Thanks to the trench, Utah geologists are able to see up to 15,000 years of fault activity.

“So, we think that, you know, if you have a really big earthquake on the Salt Lake City segment of the Wasatch Fault Zone … after that earthquake’s occurred it could potentially trigger an earthquake on the West Valley Fault Zone,” Hiscock said.

The trench revealed how the 2020 earthquake just north of Magna left the West Valley fault lines with multiple aftershocks.

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Utah Geological Survey learning more on connection between Wasatch and West Valley fault lines