Can Colorado Have Earthquakes?
Can Colorado have earthquakes? We sure can! While Colorado doesn't see as much seismic activity as San Francisco, the Rocky Mountains sure have a history of shaking at times.
Some of Colorado's biggest earthquakes are believed to have happened long before seismology equipment was able to take important measurements. Still, using the data collected at the time, we can take a closer look at some of Colorado's largest quakes that happened from around 1870 to 2023. Many were felt here in Grand Junction.
Colorado's Largest Earthquake
Known as "The Big One", Colorado's largest earthquake took place long before we had the proper equipment to really see how big this thing was. We're talking about the North Central Colorado Earthquake of 1872. Believed to have measured a 6.6 magnitude, this earthquake shook communities from Northeastern Utah, almost all of Colorado, and most of southern Wyoming.
Colorado's Earthquakes Have Come in Bunches
As a consequence of blowing up the earth in search of gold and silver, Colorado saw a big spike in earthquakes from 1880 to 1900. Another spike happened between 1960 and 1967. Was this a result of blowing up the earth to build nuclear missile siloes deep underground or perhaps the Eisenhower Tunnell cause a few more shifts? We can't prove any of this right now, but the events could easily be related.
How Many Earthquakes Does Colorado See Each Year?
Believe it or not, Colorado actually averages over 60 earthquakes each year. We hardly feel any of them but they are there. Colorado's Geographic Survey has nine sensors throughout the state that are always on alert. These sensors provide live updates of any movement happening underground. Scroll on to see some of Colorado's most significant earthquakes on record.