Crews discover 3 large earthquakes have occurred on Teton Fault

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The following is a news release and photo from the U.S. Geological Survey.

JACKSON, Wyo. — The U.S. Geological Survey, along with local, state, university and international partners, just completed the most comprehensive study of the Teton Fault to date at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

This research is motivated by questions about previous earthquakes on the 40-mile long fault and how they contribute to future hazard. The Teton Fault is located within a region of focused historical seismicity called the Intermountain seismic belt (Wasatch Front, Utah, Idaho, western Wyoming).

“The USGS and partners are using new tools and techniques to study the fault. This will allow us to better understanding the hazard in the area,” said Chris DuRoss, USGS research geologist and scientist in charge of the project.

Preliminary evidence suggests three large earthquakes have occurred on the Teton Fault. Previous studies captured two.

“The goal of this multi-agency project is to reconstruct the history of past ground-rupturing earthquakes on the fault,” said DuRoss. “Earthquake investigations such as this help inform seismic-hazard analyses like the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps which are then used in building codes to ensure that the built environment is able to withstand strong shaking.”

USGS scientists and partners collected multiple soil samples from the 10-foot trench on the base of Buffalo Bowl at JHMR, which will help estimate the timing of these earthquakes. Final results should be published within the next year.

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