Clark County has several earthquake faults within it and lies adjacent to major earthquake faults in California and Utah that can cause strong shaking. Small, slightly damaging earthquakes have shaken Las Vegas basin and are evidence of local tectonic stresses. There is concern that the basin itself can trap seismic waves from major earthquakes and cause shaking to last longer.
Earthquakes in Clark County are created by tectonic extension, that is pulling the land apart and forms normal faults, and lateral motion from the Pacific-North American plate-boundary, that forms strike-slip faults. When an earthquake occurs on a normal fault, the ground is offset vertically, with one side dropping down and the other side going up. An example of a normal fault would be the fault that bounds the western side of Frenchman Mountain, just east of Las Vegas. Earthquakes along strike-slip faults, such as the Stateline fault in Pahrump Valley, have horizontal movement. Clark County residents live in earthquake country and need to be earthquake ready.
Additional earthquake hazard information:
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