After a 3.4 magnitude earthquake hit Saturday evening near the northeastern Colorado town of Greeley, questions about its connection to oil and gas development started popping up on social media and in the blogosphere, with anti-fracking activists trying to make a link between the two.
The area where the Collbran mudslide happened has seen similar slides in the past. Geologists say relatively weak rock and steep terrain create a recipe for such natural disasters. Still, Colorado in general is less vulnerable to slides than wetter areas, like the west coast. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.
The Colorado Geological Survey began mapping landslides near Collbran in the 1980’s. They discovered the area where this debris flow happened was prone to slides.
Lightning is a leading cause of storm related deaths in the United States.
Credit hipgnosis vision/Flickr Creative Commons
Warmer weather is coming, and that means thunderstorms. A new Google Map from the U.S. Geological Survey visualizes county-by-county data on lightning damage frequency. Northern Colorado's Front Range is a major target, and it's not just a coincidence.
There's a joke among scientists: Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. For Ross Stein, it wasn't a joke after the Indian Ocean quake and tsunami in 2004. It killed some 275,000 people. "I just felt almost a sense of shame," Stein says, "that this tragedy could have been so immense in a world where we have so much intense research effort."