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Wasatch Fault

One of the fastest growing places in the U.S. is the Great Salt Lake Rift Valley of Utah. Geological studies clearly demonstrate a record of large earthquakes throughout the recent past in this region that occurred along various segments of the Wasatch Fault before it was settled.

Each fault segment has an earthquake recurrence interval of around 1200-1400 years. Some sections, like the Salt Lake City segment, have not experienced a major earthquake in over 1350 years. During that time enough energy has accumulated along the fault to cause a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

Two million people live above the westward inclined fault in mostly unreinforced masonry buildings built before seismic codes were first enforced in the 1990’s. The majority of schools also fall into this category. Poorly supported critical services, such as gas and water pipelines, bridges and roads, and unstable slopes also pose a significant threat for emergency response to a major earthquake.

This page outlines steps we have taken to educate and prepare those living along the Wasatch Fault of the dangers of the earthquake.

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  • Present free workshops in various communities, informing people how to protect themselves from earthquake hazards, involving over 12,000 people

  • Set up, a website that serves as a clearing house for information about how to prepare for an earthquake, and what to do during and after the event

*map courtasy of UGS


  • Advise state government and LDS Church leaders about seismic disaster risk reduction

  • Persuade a major University to decommission its seismically vulnerable student dorms

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Assisted local communities along the Wasatch Front to pass a referendum to replace seismically vulnerable schools


Study seismic safety of building codes

Study unreinforced masony (put in link to student research)

Then go back and share our research and give others the information we have.

Knowledge = preperation

*Image courtasy of UGS

wasatch fault map.png

2022 KSL Newsletter

Read about our recent work in Indonesia and how it

relates to Utah's earthquake preparation.

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