Mystery: a strange, remarkable earthquake hit Wyoming

June 2015 GEOLOGY An earthquake struck Wyoming two years ago that made little sense, scientifically speaking — but experts seem closer to solving the mystery, the BBC reports. Called the Wind River Earthquake, it hit with 4.7 magnitude in an area that rarely sees such seismic power. Hardly surprising, since the Wind River area has little tectonic-plate movement that would normally trigger such an earthquake. But a new study in Earth and Planetary Science Letters says the quake may not have originated with tectonic plates grinding against each other at all. The Wind River Earthquake may have started deeper, in what the BBC calls “the Earth’s hotter and more viscous mantle.” Such a quake might be caused by crust falling into the mantle, which lies between the Earth’s higher crust and deeper core.
These deeper quakes remain “a highly controversial topic,” the scientists write, but this one “occurred well within the mantle, and likely over 20 km [12.4 miles] deeper than the base of the crust.” If true, the finding makes the Wind River Earthquake one of the three deepest ever recorded in the area. Still, some things don’t fit: While such deep quakes can occur in volcanic regions, when fluid or magma flows in the Earth’s mantle, they usually affect a smaller area; the Wind River quake ruptured nearly 11 million square feet, notes Geology in Motion. And Wind River is noticeably far from the nearest volcanic region. So what’s up? Perhaps the mantle was so brittle that it failed and triggered the quake, say researchers, who admit that the causes remain debatable. –Newser  
This entry was posted in Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Lithosphere collapse & fisssure, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mystery: a strange, remarkable earthquake hit Wyoming

  1. Jennifer Powell says:

    Was the Wind River quake on the edge of the North American crayton? There has been a lot of movement all along the crayton during the past couple of years.


  2. Lulu says:

    Perhaps there is some sort of unknown plate edge running through the region? Also, I sometimes wonder if many river beds are actually old fault lines, whose bed base goes deeper than is first thought due to sediment filling the ‘crevice’. Maybe I am completely wrong…but just a thought.


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