More seismic activity in Soda Springs?

There have been hundreds of aftershocks to Saturday's quake in Soda Springs.

BOISE - A magnitude 5 quake hit near Soda Springs on Saturday, followed by hundreds of aftershocks.

It's enough to stir up some fear that something bigger is coming.

We  spoke with seismologists about the likelihood of that happening.

"This earthquake and its location was not a surprise. We expect earthquakes in this area every decade or so of this magnitude," Lee Liberty, a seismic researcher at Boise State University explains.

And the hundreds of aftershocks that followed, Liberty says is also no surprise.

"What happens is all the rocks kind of settle down, so the ground moves and then everything around it kind of has to reshuffle and that's what those aftershocks really represent," he said.

The Intermountain Seismic Belt, which includes Soda Springs, is used to seismic activity. But this recent quake is the biggest in Idaho since 1983.

"This is the Borah Peak sequence and swarm, which was in 1983 it was a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, and then the aftershock sequence that goes with it,” Liberty points out.

Because of the Borah Peak quake, seismologists know it's possible for an earthquake as powerful as a magnitude 7 to hit southeast Idaho.

But the likelihood of it being triggered by the earthquake on Saturday is slim.

"It's not that we think a magnitude 7 is going to happen in that area that's associated with these earthquakes. What we do think is that there is potential for a magnitude 7 earthquake to occur either in that general area or in southeast Idaho or in western Wyoming, or in this whole region that we call the Intermountain Seismic Belt," explains Dr. David Pearson, an assistant professor at Idaho State University.

Regardless, both Pearson and Liberty say because of active fault lines in southeast Idaho, it's always important to be prepared.

"Secure things on the walls above your head, be prepared if you lose water or power for hours or days. Basic things like that it could be fire, flood, landslide, earthquake - any of those be prepared for the unexpected,’ said Pearson.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment