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Earthquake south of Ruedi Reservoir felt in Aspen

USGS says tremor was magnitude 2.8 and about 2 miles deep near Larkspur Mountain

A 2.8-magnitude earthquake was reported Saturday night about 7.5 miles northeast of Aspen. This map from the U.S. Geological Survey marks the center of the quake with a star.
Courtesy USGS

Some Aspen-area residents felt a small earthquake Saturday night that occurred nearly nearly 8 miles away, south of Ruedi Reservoir, an official with the U.S. Geological Survey said Sunday morning.

The magnitude-2.8 earthquake, which occurred just after 9 p.m. Saturday, was about 2.1 miles deep and could be felt in the Aspen area, according to the USGS’s initial reports. As of Sunday afternoon, more than 20 people had filed reports of the quake with the USGS office.

The official coordinates of the center of the quake are 39.292 degrees North and 106.756 degrees West, which is 7.6 miles from Aspen. It was centered on a “very small fault” located on the north side of Larkspur Mountain, said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the National Earthquake Information Center office based in Golden.



The tremor was a “relatively small quake,” Caruso said Sunday. “We do get earthquakes in the mountains from time to time.”

A 2.8-magnitude earthquake was reported Saturday night about 7.5 miles northeast of Aspen. This map from the U.S. Geological Survey marks the center of the quake with a blue dot.
Courtesy USGS

According to his research, there have been 19 earthquakes within a 30-mile radius of Aspen since 1986. The most significant was a magnitude-2.9 earthquake in 1986, centered about 15 miles southwest of Aspen, he said. There was a 2.8-magnitude quake in 2015 that was about 3.1 miles northeast of Aspen.



Caruso said they will monitor the area at the center of Saturday’s earthquake in case there are more tremors. However, since it was in a remote area and there was not any damage, they won’t do any deeper research unless they record a cluster of quakes in the coming days.

He said the area around Glenwood Springs is more susceptible to earthquakes because of the natural hot springs and larger fault in that region. A 1.8-magnitude earthquake on Feb. 15 was recorded northeast of Battlement Mesa and caused a small rockfall on the Roan Plateau. On Jan. 23, a minor magnitude-1.6 quake was center about 4 miles east of Basalt, according to USGS data.

In May 2019, a 2.7-magnitude earthquake was center 3 miles southeast of Gypsum and shook the area.

dkrause@aspentimes.com


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