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Northgate Heights Neighborhood Association

Earthquake Update
Provided by the City of Irving

SMU analysis of recent earthquake sequence reveals geologic fault, epicenters in Irving and West Dallas.

Initial results from SMU’s seismology team reveal that the recent series of earthquakes occurring near the site of the old Texas Stadium were relatively shallow and concentrated along a narrow two mile line that indicates a fault extending from Irving into West Dallas.

The earthquakes have occurred in the granite “basement,” below the layers of sedimentary rock that make up the large geological formation known as the Fort Worth Basin, at depths between 4.5 and 7 kilometers, according to the report. It is not unusual for earthquakes to occur at different levels on a fault. Those depths are considered relatively close to the surface in earthquake terms, however, which helps explain why people as far away as Plano feel even smaller magnitude 2 earthquakes in the area. The USGS initially mapped the earthquake locations as being spread out in a roughly circular area centered on the old Texas Stadium site, developing those locations from data collected by distant seismic monitors ranging from the closest at about 40 miles away to as far as 900 miles away.

But once SMU installed more than 20 monitors in the immediate area – supplied by the USGS and the academic consortium IRIS – the enhanced data they were able to retrieve shows the January 2015 earthquakes actually have occurred along a line from Irving to West Dallas, running north-by-northeast from TX Highway 114 to Walnut Hill Road along the Trinity River.

That line indicates the approximate location of a subsurface fault.

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