A 4.5 magnitude earthquake was felt across portions of western Colorado and eastern Utah on Monday morning. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake’s epicenter was located in the Paradox Basin west of Naturita, Colorado. While no environmental or structural damages have been reported, the tremors were felt from Montrose to Moab, and as far south as Cortez.
Investigations are underway to determine if the quake may have been caused by the Bureau of Reclamation’s Paradox Valley Salinity Control Facility that injects salt water deep into the Earth to keep it from entering the Colorado River.
The Paradox Basin is a geologic depression within the Colorado Plateau and earthquakes have occurred here in recent history. The largest historical earthquake in the Paradox Basin prior to yesterday’s quake was a 4.4 magnitude shock in 2000, whose epicenter was very near that of the March 4th earthquake.