Clicking on the accompanying figures or photos will open up a larger version.
As every earth science student knows, mountains are associated with uplift and uplift is associated with seismic activity – earthquakes. Rocky Mountain National Park’s high peaks suggest past, and possible future, earthquake activity. In fact, the largest recorded earthquake in Colorado (1882) was likely centered near the north boundary of the park. This quake occurred before recording seismometers were invented and the “epicenter” location has been extrapolated from data on reports regarding the initial shock event and also the largest after-shock. The U.S. Geological Survey map (Figure 1), shown on the right, indicates the felt area and felt intensity for the initial quake and after-shock with an epicenter interpolated to the nearest 50 km. The felt area information along with damage reports has been used to estimate a quake magnitude of 6.6 (plus or minus 0.6). For comparison, the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Southern California had a magnitude of 6.7.