Was the M5.3 Trinidad, CO Earthquake Natural or Induced?
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake occurred near Trinidad, Colorado in the Raton Basin on August of 2011. A previous study by USGS scientists of smaller earthquakes in the area had concluded that the Raton Basin was experiencing a significant increase in the number of earthquakes starting in 2001 after an increase in hydrocarbon production activity starting in 1999. The M5.3 Trinidad earthquake provided another important piece to the puzzle.
How Big and How Frequent Are Earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault?
A team of scientists have been gathering data from new paleoseismic trenches along the Wasatch fault zone. These new datasets will help researchers to understand if past surface-rupturing earthquakes have spanned fault segment boundaries. They are also analyzing new high-resolution airborne LiDAR topographic data to characterize previously unmapped fault traces and to measure how vertical displacements (vertical offset of the ground surface from faulting) vary, both in space (from north to south) and time (the last 20,000 years).
Instrument & Data Quality Research
USGS scientists are conducting research in a number of areas to help improve instrumentation and data quality. These improvements ultimately result in more precisely-located earthquakes and better science.
- How Big and How Frequent Are Earthquakes on the Wasatch Fault?
- Rupture Directions for Selected California Earthquakes
- Central US Seismic Velocity Model
- East Bay Seismic Experiment
- The Effects of Basins, Topography, and Fault Zones on Seismic Waves: San Francisco Bay Area Portable Seismograph Deployments
- The Salton Seismic Imaging Project
- Site Response in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area, California
The USGS invites research proposals that will assist in achieving the goals of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NERHP).
Regional Science Activities
Science Centers and Field Offices offer activities for the general public and scientists, including public lectures, workshops, and open houses.
- Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK
- Seattle Field Office, Seattle, WA
- Earthquake Science Center, Menlo Park, CA
- Pasadena Field Office, Pasadena, CA
- Geologic Hazards Science Center, Golden, CA
Software programs that are available for download.