quake watch along Teton Fault?

By Jim Stanford on August 5, 2010


Today is a good day to be in the business of selling earthquake insurance.

Yep, there's an app for that, too.

After being all shook up by the last few quakes around Jackson, somehow I missed yesterday’s 4.8 temblor up the Gros Ventres. Perhaps it’s because I was on the west side of the Snake River at Moose, greeting clients for a float trip. It would have been fun, and weird, to feel the rumble on the water.

For the last year or so, as earthquakes have rocked places around the world (Haiti, for instance), I’ve been sensing a big one coming for Jackson Hole. The Teton Fault is, after all, long overdue, geologists tell us. The Earth is restless. Probably just silly superstition.

But once again I’ve moved the Wyoming Earthquakes link to the “Summer Essentials” column at left, just in case. Also, via Mikey Franco, comes word there’s an iPhone app for earthquake reports, called QuakeWatch. Good day to be in the business of selling such apps.


Posted under Business, Environment

21 Comments so far

  1. Jim Stanford August 5, 2010 9:02 am

    HOLY SHIT! Not two seconds after I just hit “publish,” I felt another earthquake. My whole house shook for two or three seconds.

    Wilson, have your kayaks and canoes ready!

  2. Rich Bloom August 5, 2010 10:26 am
  3. LP August 5, 2010 10:32 am

    I work up the Gros Ventre and things are definitely shaking up this way…the one at around 9 am was apparently a 4.1 and centered fairly close to the one last evening.

  4. D August 5, 2010 11:06 am

    I felt it in rocksprings. My gf said u feel that and I looked at my floating wine bottle as it feel. Crazy

  5. D August 5, 2010 11:07 am

    Sorry for the errors blackberrys suck to type on

  6. Brian West August 5, 2010 11:54 am

    I didn’t feel the one yesterday either. I was on the water guiding down to Moose as well, but I did feel the one this morning! It bumped me awake in my bed.

    Cool stuff to talk about with the guests on the water. So any second from now the Teton fault which is ready to slip…

  7. YVES DESGOUTTES August 5, 2010 1:40 pm

    Sorry Jim to be so annoying!
    But I am a geologist.
    The web site to go to is:

    The epicenter of the 3 earthquakes were East of Slide Lake.( 1/2 miles East)
    Could the Flat creek fault running WNW to ESE or the Lavander Hill Fault running N-S.
    The best authority is Bob Smith.

  8. Jim Stanford August 5, 2010 2:16 pm

    Bob Smith, eminent Teton geologist, has upgraded yesterday’s earthquake to 5.2.

    USGS says yet another quake hit today at 11:45 a.m., 3.2.

    Going Richter, dude!

  9. Brad August 5, 2010 3:45 pm

    Yves, or Bob Smith, do you know if the quake listed as heppening about 70 minutes prior to the Teton quake yesterday, in Utah, was an error? After the incident at 6:00, I went to the web and saw a listing for one just NW of Logan, UT at 5.2. Now I can’t find it.

  10. D August 5, 2010 3:51 pm

    It was a mistake. Read it in the paper. Crazy deal going down.

  11. YVES DESGOUTTES August 5, 2010 3:59 pm

    The high council of the LDS church decided that we could have our own so they canceled the one in Logan.
    Jokes apart it was an error.
    If you google Bob Smith who is the head of earth science at U of U
    He will have a deeper understanding of the series we have just witnessed.There has been more than a 1,000 earthquakes of low magnitude in Yellowstone since spring. But the 3 recent ones we felt are not connected to the “breathing”. Are they connected to the Teton Fault ? I don’t think so. but Bob will have a much more educated idea about it.

  12. Brad August 5, 2010 6:40 pm

    Fair enough. I was also curious about the time listed for the false report. It was up on the USGS site rather quickly after the Teton event, but listed a time of occurance about an hour previous. A quick draw geologist no doubt. It would seem logical that these evets are not connected to Yellowstone breathing (good term) or the Teton fault. But then i’m not a geologist, I just play one on blog sites.

  13. YVES DESGOUTTES August 5, 2010 8:03 pm

    I got Bob Smith and when an event like this occurs he works overtime.
    He conformed that it is not connected to the Teton fault.
    If it interest you : a couple of years ago him and his lads determined that the valley floor was rising up and not the range as once believed.
    A lot of sensors are spread mostly in YNP but there are some in Teton County thanks to *Paddleford who is now dead. This sensors transmit wirelessly to the USGS and Bob Smith lab any tremors.
    *Paddleford went to DC to argue the case to have sensors for Teton County. I miss him he was a good man.

  14. dswift August 5, 2010 11:29 pm

    Dang. We were driving the Pass during this evening’s offering. (Unless that wasn’t really a huge wind gust above Trail Creek.)

    But I got a good ride yesterday, being in a large warehouse with concrete floors. Having ridden a few of L.A.’s greatest hits in the 60s and 70s, the recent shakes here are like comfort food to me.

  15. Brad August 6, 2010 11:36 am

    Amen on Paddleford, Yves. Irreplaceable in my book. With the known geology in this valley, it was inconceivable that anyone would think seismic sensors as unnecessary here. I remember reading about the finding that the valley floor was rising and found it odd, going against known geologic science. But isn’t the range still rising as well? The tectonic pressure are surely still there. Time to read Dr. Bob’s stuff, I guess.

  16. Brad August 6, 2010 11:57 am

    By the way, one correction to your opening missive, Jim. After a significant seismic event, usually at 5.0 or above, you can’t buy earthquake insurance from most carriers for at least six months. I’m not sure how large an area is considered, but certainly, if you don’t have an earthquake rider on the policy your home in Teton County now, you’re SOL until February, 2011.

  17. Jim Stanford August 6, 2010 12:25 pm

    I was mainly joking, but thanks for clarifying.

    Turns out there were about 40 small quakes in all: http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=6313

    And we’re still shaking! Another rated 3.3 at 9:30 this morning: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Maps/US10/37.47.-115.-105_eqs.php

  18. YVES DESGOUTTES August 7, 2010 9:59 am

    Hi Brad,
    As far as I know the range is not pushed up.
    It has to do with the North American plate creeping SW buy now it is interfered by a tectonic push from something similar than the Mid Atlantic ridge but based in the Humbolt range in Nevada , that pushes Eastward. It’s like a huge rugby scrum.So somehow and I don’t really understand why it pushes the valley floor upward along the Teton fault face.
    That spreading of the earth in Nevada has been known for quite a while. It was even mentioned in”Annals of the Former World” by John McPhee page 46.
    Bob has some paper about the floor rising published in 2008, I would need to read too.

  19. YVES DESGOUTTES August 7, 2010 10:00 am

    Sorry everyone about the typos.
    I still learning English

  20. YVES DESGOUTTES August 7, 2010 10:06 am

    A. G. Sylvester, R. B. Smith, J. O. D. Byrd,, 2007, Geodetic evidence and possible mechanisms for aseismic height changes across the Teton fault, Wyoming, J. Geophys. Res., (in revision).

  21. Brad August 8, 2010 8:27 pm

    Thanks for the enlightenment and the references, Yves. And the nod to McPhee. He may have touched on this in Rising From the Plains as well. Can’t remember; have to go back through it. Don’t worry; your English is far better than my French.

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