Small earthquake reported Saturday near Steamboat

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— A magnitude-2.5 earthquake hit Routt County at 3:46 a.m. Saturday.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake happened 12 miles west/southwest of Steamboat Springs at a depth of 3.1 miles.

An earthquake of magnitude 2 is the smallest typically felt by people, and a magnitude of 5 or more is potentially damaging, according to the USGS.

The most recent earthquake in Routt County was a magnitude-2.8 quake at 6:19 a.m. March 30. That quake happened 15 miles south/southwest of Howelsen Hill at a depth of about 0.6 miles. No one reported feeling that earthquake.

The March earthquake coincided with an accident at Twentymile Mine that shut down longwall mining operations into late April.

Peabody Energy Denver Administration District Manager Allyn Davis said April 27 that the accident involved the “compression” of coal pillars that are relied upon to support the ceiling of the underground mine. At the same time the pillars compressed, a roof fall took place, partially blocking the tail end of the longwall, which serves as an exit point for miners.

State geologist Vince Matthews said in March that he contacted the mine after surmising that the earthquake could have been triggered by mining activity. He also said the number of geologic faults that cut across the area suggest that a natural earthquake is possible.

Davis said that although mine-induced seismic activity is a well-known phenomenon, the technology does not exist to positively tie the two events together.

The last earthquake strong enough to be felt by Steamboat residents happened just before midnight Oct. 9, 2005. It had a magnitude of just 2.2, but Steamboat residents were attuned to the earth shaking that night because just 10 days earlier, the valley was shaken by a magnitude-4.4 quake. The Sept. 30, 2005, quake prompted 180 calls to the county’s 911 center in the first hour after it shook buildings. Many people reported thinking a car had struck their homes. Before that quake, the last widely noticed earthquake was in February 2000.

Comments

kathy foos 3 years, 2 months ago

In Oklahoma last year where they had just started gas fracturing they had hundreds of quakes.The Twenty Mile coal mine has never set off earth quakes that much before,I would think that to blame gas fracturing would be closer to the truth ,Its (fracturing) also pollutes the air with cancer causing chemicals(they have monitored it in Rifle),and it leaves cancer causing chemicals underground in the water table .Also ,Eagle County landfill is not accepting the plastic liners from their water run off ponds as the liners are cancer causing.If Bush had not have gotten rid of our clean water act,this would not be happening with this experimental and polluting operations.These oil people are here to gas frack.The county has some say in this ,and just blindly allowing them to do it ,you can't blame anyone but yourselves for allowing underground and that has potential for spreading benzene etc to our fossil water.I wonder how safe the workers are from these chemicals.How can the sites be cleaned up after not to be toxic?

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Michelle Hale 3 years, 2 months ago

I totally disagree with the comment of "blame ont he Gas and Oil companies". That is total BS. Why? I am a sixth generation out of this county and a 5th out of Rio Blanco. Earthquakes have happened here 100 plus years ago. My great grandmother told of earthquakes that broke all the dishes, and glass. My grandmother had storys as well. Where ever there are HOT SPRINGS... you are in active volcanic area. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH OIL. I will also tell you that as far as the "toxic" chemicals that were mentioned you need to double check on what is used, how it is used, and HOW IT IS REUSED by taking it back out of the water. I love where I live, my roots go very deep. I love the land, and all that it has to offer. But....I am getting sick to death of one sided, BS being put out there. Check and see where the TAX BASE is....it's your engergy...Oil, Gas, and Coal, and it has been for the last 80 plus years. Farming and Ranching in most of the NW counties is less than 1%. For those of us who live here and have a long list of roots here.......there is far more damage from the "rich and removed" and the development on the rivers....and pushing up the tax base for those of us who have always called this home. Stop blaming the natural event on Oil and Gas... Cranial Rectal Inverstion!!! Time to get some fresh air..... Oh by the way.....I am a very strong Democrat, but I am NOT going to buy into the wrong information like that stated above. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

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Zed 3 years, 2 months ago

In response to Michelle -

That must be why all oil companies refuse to tell anyone what they are pumping in the ground and Texas had to pass a law so the public can find out? Asking Gas and Oil companies for accountability is not BS, no different than asking Wall street for accountability. You can't deny the significant money at stake for fracking and you expect us to assume they are going to "do the right thing"?

And second, no one ever wants to look at the whole picture on energy solutions. You are telling me they are going to use millions of gallons of water, truck it in and out in addition to all of the existing machinery using countless barrels of oil, plus all of the processing and somehow this is a solution to our energy woes. This is a way to make money on our broken fossil fuel energy system, this is not a long term solution. Remember the marketing scam of clean coal? Or how about continuing our corn subsidies for the miracle of ethanol? There is big money to be made and no independent research being done.

You are pumping millions of gallons of water into shale and we are suppose to sit back and assume that their will be no impact? There is zero federal regulation on this thanks to Dick Cheney and no independent assessment. Yep, I am going to ask questions.

-Where are they taking the water from and how much? -Where is the reprocessing taking place and who is testing the water they dispose of? -What is the long term impact on water tables? -How much money is Michelle Hale and other large property owners making from natural gas royalties? - Why does YVB turn every debate into an attack on "the man"?

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the_Lizard 3 years, 2 months ago

Chelley6, I couldn't agree more with you. Frack on...

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Kerrie Cooper 3 years, 2 months ago

Good for you Zed,

I couldn't agree more. The ignorance, greed and disconnection of people's actions to its' effects on the earth amaze me.l! !!! Baffles me to no end. We have GOT to be the dumbest species on this planet, parasitic to be more exact --- killing everything around us and consuming the host and thinking there is no end.....Wow, hard to believe we have gotten this screwed up.

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the_Lizard 3 years, 2 months ago

lovestoread, the true ignoranvce lies with those that think living as they do in third world countries without the benefit of affordable energy sources is somehow purer or less destructive. Honestly, what do you propose people, the "dumbest species" on the planet do? Do you favor modern agriculture techniques, medicine, technology, or furthering your education so you can continue to read? None of it can be done without energy, obtained through technological advances which do not destroy nor kill everything around us. (wow hard to believe the added embellishment) Say, have you noticed how "the host" tries to kill itself with earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, volcanos and so on. (wink)

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