Known as Kay’s Creek during the Mormon pioneers’ arrival in 1874, the city of Kaysville in Davis County, Utah became a farming community in 1850. Today, Kaysville is a prosperous city with a population of 29,494 (as measured in 2014). It occupies a 10.5 square mile land area with an elevation of 4,357 feet and is located between the Wasatch Mountains to the east and the Great Salt Lake to the west. The city is famous for its many hiking trails into the Wasatch Mountains that begin at the outskirts of the city.
Prior to the construction of government buildings in Kaysville in the mid-1980s, the city government requested a geologic study. The study found that Kaysville sits on sediment deposits from Lake Bonneville that are mostly silty clay, with no bedrock in the area. It was also determined that the Wasatch Fault lies about two miles east of Kaysville. The study unearthed several pieces of evidence of previous landslides in the area that were caused by pre-historic liquefaction.
The study also discovered the potential for landslides, debris flow, and debris floods in areas along the Wasatch Front such as Webb and Baer Canyons. The good news is that debris flow may not reach Kaysville as the distance between the canyon mouths and Kaysville is about 1.5 miles. However, flooding in some parts of the city may still be possible because certain areas are lower in elevation than the rest. The clay-like soil of Kaysville poses a threat of sinking when the area is saturated with water, such as in the case of a lingering flood. Due to the soil quality, the construction of tall buildings is not recommended in Kaysville.
The biggest threat of a disaster for the city comes from the earthquake fault. In the event of a major earthquake, the absence of bedrock in the subsoil may result in liquefaction.
Kaysville is a beautiful community with a stunning view of the Wasatch Mountains. Its residents must be prepared, however, given the city’s risks for disaster. If calamity strikes, the area will face significant cleanup efforts. The Disaster Company is always ready to lend a helping hand across the state of Utah, performing services such as Kaysville disaster cleanup to get communities back on their feet again.