A minor earthquake was recorded in western Colfax County shortly before 1 a.m. June 27, the second such quake to be triggered in the area in the last two months.

The June 25 quake of 3.0 magnitude was recorded as having its epicenter 19 miles north of Cimarron, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center. The center also placed the quake as being 23 miles northeast of Eagle Nest and 30 miles southwest of Raton.

On April 30, an earthquake of 3.5 magnitude was recorded 19 miles west of Raton.

Researchers consider earthquakes with magnitudes of 3.0 to 3.9 "minor." Those with magnitudes of 4.0 to 4.9 are referred to as "light."

The Geological Survey's earthquake information center has recorded at least 11 quakes - all minor - since the beginning of the year in an area about 30 miles west of Raton and scattered within 25 miles or so south or north of the New Mexico/Colorado border. Another quake was recorded this year in Colorado about 25 miles north of Raton.

The region experienced numerous quakes in late 2001 and others in 2004. Following the 2001 "swarm" of quakes, geologists with the U.S. Geological Survey conducted tests in Las Animas County, but failed to develop any firm evidence linking the region's quakes to methane gas extraction taking place in the region. The scientists began the study to determine if a link existed.

Earthquakes everywhere occur on faults within bedrock, usually miles deep. There are a variety of faults located to the west of Raton and Trinidad. The closest New Mexico fault to Raton is the relatively small Valle Vidal fault, which is about 45 miles west of the city.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region, geologists say. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as 10 times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast.

A quick questioning of a few people at Cimarron Village Hall Monday morning did not turn up anyone who said they felt Saturday's quake or had heard of anybody who did.