Univ. of Nevada and U.S. Geological Survey
Probing Earthquake Faults below Reno and Sparks

See the article in the Fall 2009 Silver & Blue


·     Where are the earthquake faults below Reno and Sparks?

·     Which faults are the most hazardous?

·     Are there faults we have not noticed before?


       A joint project of the Nevada Seismological Lab at UNR and the U.S. Geological Survey worked in Reno and Sparks during June to start answering these questions. The seismic survey crew probed beneath the Truckee River from Winter St. to Rock Blvd., and below Manzanita Lane.


         The crew used oil-industry seismic techniques to image the faults to a half-mile depth. Thank you for giving us a brake and slowing down when you passed the shaker truck, and for driving slowly over our marked cables on the street.

         For more information on this survey and our results, please check http://crack.seismo.unr.edu/faultsurvey. For more information on earthquakes and faults in Reno/Sparks and in Nevada, please see http://www.seismo.unr.edu. Please direct further questions or problems to Prof. John Louie, 775-784-4219 louie@seismo.unr.edu.



Fault imaged below Provo, Utah


Additional Information:

·      Peer-reviewed paper by W. J. Stephenson, R. N. Frary, J. N. Louie, and J. K. Odum, 2013, Quaternary extensional growth folding beneath Reno, Nevada, imaged by urban seismic profiling: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 103, no. 5 (October), doi: 10.1785/0120120311, 2921-2927. Journal reprint, 515 kb.

·      Final technical project report to the USGS, including a non-technical abstract: 4.1 Mb PDF

·      Talk presented by R. Frary at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2010: 2.5 Mb PDF

·      Poster presented at Southern Calif. Earthquake Center Ann. Mtg., September 2009: 1.8 Mb JPEG or 20 Mb PDF

·      Field Photo Album

·      Detailed description of survey work (or 2.4 Mb PDF)

·      Map of Truckee River survey

·      Map of Manzanita Ln. survey

·      Survey document folder

·      Nevada Seismological Laboratory

·      University of Nevada, Reno

·      Prof. Louie’s research and contact page


J. Louie, 6/1/2009