Lake Mead has series of small earthquakesby Jonathan DuHamel on Aug. 15, 2011, under Geology
The earth, for all its faults, adjusts to changing conditions. One of those changing conditions is more water entering Lake Mead. Over the past two months or so, there has been a series of small earthquakes, magnitude 2.1-2.5, in the Lake Mead area.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, meltwater from heavy snowfall last winter is filling the reservoirs:
The river system that fills Lake Mead and supplies 90 percent of Las Vegas’ drinking water is on track for its third wettest year since Lake Powell was filled for the first time in 1963.
The surface of Lake Powell has risen to its highest level in a decade…
The surface of Lake Mead is now 20 feet higher than it was a year ago, and current projections — ones now likely to be adjusted upward — call for it to rise another 33 feet by Aug. 1, 2012.
Last month’s inflow ranked as the second largest Lake Powell has ever seen in July. The 4.35 million acre-feet of water that poured into the reservoir on the Utah-Arizona border that month was almost three times the July average, and the flow in June was even greater — 5.4 million acre-feet, or almost 24 times the amount of water used in the Las Vegas Valley all of last year.
In other news:
For more information on earthquakes, see:
For a brief history of Arizona geology, see my seven-part series: