Four small earthquakes hit outside Kanarraville north of Zion National Park overnight

Jan 4, 2022, 10:16 AM | Updated: 5:41 pm

KANARRAVILLE, Utah— Four small earthquakes hit about 12 miles southeast of Kanarraville, just north of Zion National Park overnight. The first earthquake hit at 11:40 p.m. and had a magnitude of 2.6. The next one hit just before midnight and was  recorded at 2.4, and then two earthquakes at 2.5 struck, one hitting at 2:20 a.m. and the other just before 5 a.m.

The surrounding areas had over 20 even smaller earthquakes around the greater Kanarraville area.

Dr. Jamie Farrell, a seismologist at the University of Utah said the earthquakes are nothing new for that area.

“So the sequence started on the 28th of November and it’s been ongoing up until now,” Farrell said. “Of course last night you saw the events that occurred. The largest event is a magnitude 3.1 and that one occurred on November 28 at the beginning of the sequence.”

According to Farrell, two people reported feeling the 3.1 earthquake, and since then there have been a series of what one might call mini aftershocks.

“In total we’ve located 53 earthquakes in this sequence since November 28th,” Farrell said. “The magnitude 3.1 was the largest, there’s been 15 that are in the magnitude two range, and then there’s 37 events that have magnitudes less than two.”

Farrell says these quakes are occurring about 3 and a half miles east of Kolob reservoir, just North of Zion National Park or 17 miles north of Springdale.


The hard thing about earthquakes is that they’re not predictable. Unlike other natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes, there’s not an easy way to track if a larger earthquake is coming. The good news in this case is that Farrell says Southern Utah doesn’t have to worry about these quakes being a sign for something bigger.

“Sometimes you can have what we call foreshocks, before a sequence in fact there were two smaller events before the magnitude 3.1,” Farrell said. “But the farther away you get from the larger event, the likelihood of having an even larger event diminishes pretty rapidly. So at this point I don’t think it’s accurate to say that because you’re having these little ones it’s a sign of something big coming.”

The area in Southern Utah isn’t along any fault line, and Farrell explained there are often things shifting deep below the surface.

“There’s no mapped faults to my knowledge where these events are occurring these are occurring on some buried fault structure that is too small to reach the surface,” Farrell said. “…this happens all over the place, a lot of the earthquakes we see aren’t actually occurring at faults that are visible on the surface.”

KSL TV has an earthquake tracker you can use to keep up with the latest earthquake activity found here  or at the U’s seismology website here. 

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Four small earthquakes hit outside Kanarraville north of Zion National Park overnight