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Where is the Wasatch Fault?

regional map
The Wasatch fault is located in central Utah and southeast Idaho, along the eastern edge of the Basin and Range Province. Image from "Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country". Click image for larger version.

The Wasatch Fault parallels the western base of the Wasatch Range for approximately 350 km (220 miles), from near Fayette, Utah in the south to near Malad City, Idaho in the north. The Wasatch Fault is also known as the Wasatch fault zone (WFZ) since it isn't a single long fault, but rather a series of fault segments. It's no coincidence that the fault parallels the mountains; the mountains were created during the last several million years by many earthquakes along the fault zone.

The Wasatch fault zone quakes occur on normal faults that dip at an angle under the valley to the west. Repeated fault movements during earthquakes have formed the mountains to the east and the valleys to the west.

The WFZ marks the boundary between the Basin and Range Province to the west, an area being slowly pulled apart in an east-west direction, and the Middle Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau regions to the east, more stable areas thought to have fewer active faults.

Scientific Staff