Earthquake risk rises for Western Slope

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

WESTERN SLOPE, Colo. Earthquakes could become more common on the Western Slope.

The United States Geological Survey updated its hazard map for the first time since 2008.

The map shows where earthquakes could occur, how often and how strong they can be in certain areas.

An increase in seismic activity and a change in the modeling techniques used to evaluate the earthquakes has part of the Western Slope at a slightly higher risk on the 2014 map compared to the 2008 map.

The USGS said there are no fault lines in Western Colorado that have been identified yet, but they could just be undiscovered.

The map doesn't account for the earthquakes that possibly stemmed from waste-water injections, said Mark Petersen, of the USGS.

Those kinds of earthquakes will be studied further in the next year and a new map will be made showing the chances of earthquakes that don't stem from natural causes.

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