Magnitude 6.0 - NEVADA

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2008 February 21 14:16:02 UTC

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Earthquake Details

  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
Location41.153°N, 114.867°W
Depth6.7 km (4.2 miles) set by location program
Distances10 km (5 miles) ENE of Wells, Nevada
85 km (50 miles) ENE of Elko, Nevada
255 km (160 miles) W of SALT LAKE CITY, Utah
470 km (295 miles) ENE of CARSON CITY, Nevada
Location UncertaintyError estimate not available
ParametersNST=282, Nph=282, Dmin=55.1 km, Rmss=0 sec, Gp= 14°,
M-type=centroid moment magnitude (Mw), Version=B
  • University of Nevada, Reno, USA
Event IDus2008nsa9
  • Did you feel it? Report shaking and damage at your location. You can also view a map displaying accumulated data from your report and others.

Earthquake Summary

Small globe showing earthquakeSmall map showing earthquake

Earthquake Summary Poster

  • The following is a release by the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center: An earthquake occurred 15 km (10 miles) ESE of Wells, Nevada 15 km (10 miles) ESE of Wells, Nevada at 7:16 AM MST, Feb 21, 2008 (6:16 AM PST in Nevada). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available.

  • Felt Reports

    Three people injured, more than 20 buildings heavily damaged, almost 700 buildings slightly damaged and a water main broken at Wells. Felt (VI) at Wells, with maximum intensity VIII in the Historic District. Felt (V) at Jackpot; (IV) at Battle Mountain, Carlin, Elko, Mountain City and Spring Creek; (III) at Ely, Eureka, Golconda, Lovelock and Winnemucca. Also felt at Las Vegas and Reno. Felt (V) at Grand View and Rogerson; (IV) at Castleford, Filer, Hansen, Heyburn, Malad City, Malta, Paul, Rupert, Twin Falls and Wendell; (III) at American Falls, Bellevue, Boise, Buhl, Burley, Caldwell, Declo, Dietrich, Emmett, Fairfield, Garden Valley, Glenns Ferry, Gooding, Hagerman, Hailey, Hazelton, Idaho City, Inkom, Jerome, Ketchum, Kimberly, Middleton, Murtaugh, Nampa, Oakley, Pocatello and Shoshone, Idaho. Also felt (V) at Wendover; (IV) at Farmington, Garland and Snowville; (III) at American Fork, Brigham City, Clearfield, Corinne, Draper, Dugway, Grantsville, Hill AFB, Honeyville, Hooper, Hyde Park, Hyrum, Layton, Lehi, Logan, Ogden, Plymouth, Provo, Richmond, Roy, Sandy, Salt Lake City, Stockton, Syracuse, Tooele, Tremonton, Vernon and West Jordan, Utah. The earthquake was felt in most of Idaho and Nevada, in southeastern Oregon and northwestern Utah, in parts of California and Wyoming, and at Spokane, Washington. Isolated felt reports were received from as far away as Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Oakland and Pasadena, California; Brighton, Colorado; Absarokee and Livingston, Montana; Corvallis and Portland, Oregon; and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Tectonic Summary

    Seismological data from this earthquake show that it occurred on a normal fault that trends roughly north-south and has a dip of 30-60 degrees. The revised location of the mainshock puts the earthquake in the area northeast of Wells, Nevada, where geologically young faulting is poorly expressed. The USGS Quaternary Faults and Folds Database describes a network of widely distributed faults west of Wells Peak. Based on the revised location, the distribution of several aftershocks, and the depth of the mainshock, it is difficult to associate the earthquake with a specific fault.

    A significant fault in the region that shows evidence of geologically young movement is the 64-km-long Independence Valley fault zone, which bounds the western side of the Pequop Mountains, but it is located more than 20 km southeast of the revised epicentral location and was probably not the source of the earthquake.

    Earthquakes in Nevada are not uncommon. One of the most significant sequences of earthquakes in the western U.S. occurred in Nevada during the first half of the 20th century. The sequence started in 1915, when a magnitude 7.1 earthquake occurred in Pleasant Valley south of Winnemucca. The sequence culminated with a series of four major earthquakes that ranged in magnitude between 6.6 to 7.1 in 1954 the vicinity of the Carson Sink and Dixie Valley. This sequence of earthquakes defines the Central Nevada Seismic Belt.

    The geologic expression of normal faults north of Wells indicate relatively low long-term rates of activity, but this event demonstrates that these faults remains active and have the potential to generate sizeable earthquakes. It is noteworthy that the geologic expression of normal faults northeast of Wells is similar to hundreds of other faults throughout the Basin and Range Province of the western United States.

    Earthquake Information for Nevada