Did you feel the massive 3.2 earthquakes that just happened to the east of Grand Junction? Yes, more than a little bit of sarcasm here, but yes there was something that just registered a 3.2 on the USGS website.

According to the USGS, here's how close this 3.2 was to us.

  • 11km (7mi) ENE of Paonia, Colorado
  • 59km (37mi) NE of Montrose, Colorado
  • 86km (53mi) ESE of Clifton, Colorado
  • 94km (58mi) E of Grand Junction, Colorado
  • 233km (145mi) WSW of Denver, Colorado

If you read the fine print on the USGS site for this event, you'll notice it is listed as a "probable coal bump". What?  After a bit of Google work, I learned that there is a Wikipedia page telling us what a "coal mine bump" is.

  • A coal mine bump (also called a bump, a mine bump, or a mountain bump) is a seismic jolt occurring within a mine, often due to the explosive collapse of a wall or one or more support pillars,[1] sometimes called a rock burst. These pillars are left in place during room and pillar mining, where an original narrow passage is dug and then substantially widened as ore is removed, creating open rooms with support pillars left in place. As the coal is extracted, the pressure is redistributed onto the pillars and can increase to the extent that the pillar explodes like a hand grenade, shooting coal and rock at lethal speeds.

Now we know what a coal mine bump is. If this is "the big one" for us, I guess life isn't too bad after all.

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