SALT LAKE CITY — How long will aftershocks continue after a large earthquake hits near you?
University of Utah seismologists have recorded aftershocks every day since a 5.7 quake struck near Magna, Utah, on March 18.
That was five days ago. When is it over? When can we get back to scouring eBay for toilet paper?
Was that an aftershock?
The sound is unmistakable, the cracking, pounding sound the earth makes when her tectonic plates are adjusting themselves.
An aftershock. Defined as a smaller earthquake that follows a larger earthquake. Aftershocks occur a certain distance away from the original quake, depending on the rupture length of the original quake (how much the plates moved during the quake.)
The latest (large) aftershock from Utah’s Wednesday quake was Sunday night. It was a magnitude 3.9. There have been more than 300 aftershocks since Wednesday morning.
The U.S. Geological Survey says that aftershocks can continue for weeks, months, or even years after the “mainshock.” The length of time will depend on how large that original quake was.
You will feel it
No doubt about it, this movement of our planet can be sensed — both the quake and the aftershock. ‘Hair standing up on the back of necks’ kind of thing. Not predicted, not that. Science tells us that earthquakes are a sudden phenomenon.
But if you are still enough, and in the right place, you will feel them.
So if you think that you’ve just felt an aftershock, it’s likely that you did.
You can be absolutely sure by checking the webpage for the University of Utah’s seismograph stations.
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