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What Many Salt Lake City Residents Don't Know
In about 1850, a knowledgeable geologist came into the newly settled Salt Lake valley, and looked at the landscape. A local newspaper quoted him as saying, "I can't get out of this valley fast enough. This is an earthquake ready to happen!"
His early findings have only been verified. As more knowledge pours in, the dangers of the Wasatch Front from Brigham City, through Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo, and Levan are now of major concern.
Furthermore, the fault dips at an angle under the Salt Lake Valley -- the largest population concentration in Utah. When the fault slips, the energy force will more likely be directly focused into Salt Lake City.
If this weren't enough, Salt Lake City is built upon a sand and gravel lake bed fill. A large earthquake will liquify the soil -- buildings will sink and topple into the quicksand-like soil. But there is a much bigger and serious concern. The sand and gravel soil turns into a convoluting shaking mass of jelly. Such soil magnifies the shaking.
Estimates are, that should a 7.0 or greater earthquake hit Salt Lake City, no building will be left standing, earthquake proof or not. No building could withstand the violent contortions the land will make. Some displacements could easily repeat the earlier 20 foot displacements found during research excavations along this fault line.
Are the Utah residents in denial? Are we simply uninformed? Or are we being misled?
Only one local newspaper, the Salt Lake City Tribune, called attention in December, 1997, that
the portion of the Wasatch Fault which geologists in an earlier study had determined ran under
downtown Salt Lake City, was suddenly missing in a new release of the fault maps of 1997!
Utah geologists were in shock at the omission.
See Salt Lake Tribune Article, "Fault Line
Missing From Map," December 7, 1997
The rapid construction in the Salt Lake valley is in complete denial to the dangerous facts
pointing to an earthquake of very large magnitude, undoubtedly going to strike in the not too
distant future. Armed with the latest current research data by geologists, common sense would
discourage any high rise type construction in the Salt Lake Valley. Japanese studies have indicated single story structures are the only safe retreat during a large earthquake disaster such as is poised here. However, none of this
knowledge has been realistically applied to construction or construction codes. In fact, as in the case of the Salt Lake area fault map being altered, some evidence exists to suggest the alteration was deliberately done in order to favor the construction of certain buildings in downtown Salt Lake City.
At a recent meeting of the officials for the Salt Lake City Public Schools, the urgency of the problem was again emphasized regarding present schools and future schools. One of the statements published was that they were very busy and couldn't take on such a problem right now. Such careless attitude is inexcusable.
Now, the latest news reveals that one arm of the fault erased from the maps has been found. It was found just as shown on earlier maps -- running under the Salt Palce. This is Salt Lake's largest convention center. Only during excavations to add an addition to the Salt Palace was the fault re-discovered. Eerily, the second arm of this dangerous fault runs under the new LDS Assembly Hall, now under construction. This will be the "largest assembly hall of its type in the world." This one hasn't yet been re-discovered. !!
Fault Found under Salt Lake's Salt Palace!
Two Deseret News articles point out dangers of latest findings
Chart showing frequency of 6.5 and greater earthquakes along the Wasatch front. Salt Lake City is due for an earthquake "at any time."
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