February 26, 2016 – An earthquake rumbled across Jackson Hole shortly after 4 p.m. Friday, causing windows to rattle and desks to shake.
The temblor was a magnitude 4.2 with an epicenter just north of Crystal Peak in the Gros Ventre Range, University of Utah professor of geophysics Bob Smith said.
The U.S. Geologic Survey listed it as a 4.1 on Earthquakes.USGS.gov.
Still, he said it “qualifies as small.”
People as far away as Dubois reported feeling the quake. Teton County Dispatch reported several phone calls about it, but no one had immediately reported any damage or injuries.
Smith encouraged anyone who experienced the bump to let the U.S Geological Survey know by visiting Earthquake.USGS.gov/data/dyfi.
Facebook users quickly replied to Jackson Town Councilman Jim Stanford after he noted the earthquake, quipping it was Mother Nature’s response to a clip he posted about Republican presidential candidates.
“My wife just called and said she felt it right below Snow King,” Carl Pelletier told Stanford. “She said it was impressive,”
“Felt it here at the Jackson Hole Lodge,” Frank Lane agreed, “a good shake for sure!”
While busily working on her laptop, this reporter also noticed her E. Pearl apartment building trembling.
People as far as Tetonia, Rock Springs and Afton sensed the quake too, according to USGS’s “Did You Feel It?” website.
“Earthquakes in the Gros Ventre region are very common,” explained Bob Smith, University of Utah geophysicist. Although more than 100 people in the valley who visited USGS’s website reported feeling the quake as of 5:30 p.m., Smith was quick to point out: “This is an active area; we had a large swarm in 2010, but this was not a big event.”
Wyoming State Geologist Tom Drean called the earthquake “moderate” in size.
“It’s a little larger than we typically experience, but it’s nothing to be alarmed about,” he said.
The Wyoming State Geological Survey was gathering information on the earthquake Friday afternoon, Drean said. He said they hadn’t heard of any damage or injuries caused by the quake. He said it was unlikely an earthquake of its size would cause damage.
Those in the area at the time of the quake might have felt slight ground roll and shaking, Drean said.
He said Wyoming experiences earthquakes large enough to be felt a couple of times a year. A 3.4 magnitude earthquake hit 12 miles outside Midwest in December.