Call for Papers: SRL Focus Section on Intermountain West Earthquakes in Spring 2020

The Intermountain West region of the United States experienced large, widely separated earthquakes in the spring of 2020. The most significant of these were the 18 March 2020 Mw 5.7 earthquake north of Magna, Utah (a suburb of Salt Lake City), the 31 March, 2020 Mw 6.5 earthquake northwest of Stanley, Idaho, and the May 15, 2020 Mw 6.5 earthquake in the Monte Cristo Range, northwest of Tonopah, Nevada.

The Magna, Utah earthquake occurred as the result of normal faulting in the shallow crust of the North America plate. This was the most significant earthquake in Utah since the M6.6 Hansel Valley event in 1934. The Magna earthquake was well recorded by a dense network of seismometers, continuous GPS stations, and satellite-based imaging techniques. The main event and associated aftershocks provide a unique opportunity to understand the geometry of the causative fault within the context of the greater Wasatch fault system.

The Stanley earthquake was the result of left-lateral strike-slip faulting on a north-trending fault  near the northern end of the Sawtooth mountains, Idaho. Aftershocks extended over a distance of roughly 30 km. This is the largest earthquake in Idaho since the 1983 Borah Peak earthquake. The event sheds light on the tectonics of the mountainous region north of the Snake River Plain and the northernmost Basin and Range Province.

The Monte Cristo Range earthquake occurred as a result of left-lateral faulting in the Mina Deflection region of the Walker Lane. This was the largest earthquake in Nevada since the 1954 M 7.1 Fairview Peak and M 6.8 Dixie Valley events. The aftershock zone is ~35 km long. The Monte Cristo Range earthquake, associated aftershocks, and neighboring regional sequences provide the opportunity to gain new insights into the tectonics of this complicated part of the Walker Lane.

SRL welcomes contributions to the focus section on these earthquake sequences including topics such as earthquake source properties, near-field ground motions, geologic observations, damage assessments, aftershock forecasting, seismic hazard implications, and regional seismotectonics. We also welcome regional, synthesis papers in addition to articles focused on any one of the three earthquakes. Contributions can take the form of traditional research articles or Data Mine submissions. Data Mine submissions could include seismic data, GPS and InSAR measurements, surface deformation observations, as well as processed datasets such as relocated aftershock catalogs and slip inversions.

Guest editors:

Jayne Bormann, Univeristy of Nevada, Reno

Keith Koper, University of Utah

Ryan Gold, U.S. Geological Survey

Submission Deadline: 11 September 2020

Accepted articles will be published online as soon as ready and later in the March 2021 print issue.

Address questions about scientific issues to the guest editors or SRL Editor-in-Chief Allison Bent at Address questions about submissions to the SRL Editorial Office at