Eastern Idaho Shaking It Up With Spate Of Earthquakes

Sep 11, 2017

Eastern Idaho continues to shake it up; the region has been hit by more than 250 earthquakes since the beginning of September.
Credit Domesticat / Flickr

Eastern Idaho continues to be rattled by earthquakes. Since a magnitude 5.3 quake hit near Soda Springs on September 2, the ground has frequently been in flux.


The earthquakes are adding up. Since the first rumblings of the cluster earlier this month, over 250 temblors have shaken eastern Idaho. On Sunday, September 10 alone, more than thirty quakes were measured.

“When we get a quake as large as the main shock we had – the 5.3 – there’s going to be a lot of aftershocks, and that’s simply what’s going on,” says Don Blakeman, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in their Colorado office.

Blakeman says some of the larger aftershocks from that initial quake have generated aftershocks of their own and kept the swarm of seismic activity going.

“It’s surprising to me, a little bit, that they are still going. We are expecting this Idaho series to die down. It’s been pretty energetic, as you know,” he says with a chuckle.

All the recent temblors have been centered to the south and east of Soda Springs in Caribou County. The shaking from some of the larger events have been felt as far away as Salt Lake City.

According to Blakeman, there’s no need to look at the current wave of activity as some kind of warning that a volcanic eruption at Yellowstone is imminent. He says these are just run of the mill earthquakes. Still, Blakeman emphasizes that because we can’t predict earthquakes, the only thing we can do is prepare for them.

In the first three days of the swarm between September 2 and 4, the USGS recorded 135 quakes in the area.

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