Minor Earthquake Strikes North Of Payson Sunday

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Well, it wasn’t big enough to break the Richter scale or even the bathroom scale, but a 3.1 magnitude earthquake caught the attention of some local earthquake enthusiasts.

“I have a hobby of daily tracking southwest and west coast earthquakes. Are you aware that yesterday, 43 miles NNE of Payson, there was a 3.1 quake?” wrote one Payson resident, who asked to remain anonymous.

There was even a YouTube video posted shortly after the Sunday tremor detailing where it happened in northern Arizona in between two volcanoes.

According to the United States Geologic Survey (USGS), the quake occurred just after noon Sunday in a remote area 20 miles southwest of Winslow.

The depth of the earthquake was 5 kilometers or 3 miles.

Julie Dutton, geophysicist at the USGS earthquake information center in Colorado, said only someone close to the epicenter would feel a quake of that size, which likely lasted only a few seconds.

“We consider that a fairly minor earthquake,” she said.

Even something sitting on top of the quake’s center would likely be undamaged by that size of an earthquake.

The area is not one where earthquakes are typically seen, she said. There are hundreds of earthquakes every day near faults around the world, she said.

Sunday’s quake was likely just another of the Earth’s small adjustments, Dutton said. She did not know if the area was near a fault.

“What caused that one I don’t have any idea,” she said. “More rudimentary, it is just a shift in the earth’s surface adjusting to the stresses of the region.”

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