Biggest Earthquake to hit Virginia in 110 Years - 5.8
2011 08 23

From: dailymail.co.uk



The 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck in Virginia and was felt in New York and Washington D.C. today was a rare event for the east coast.

But the shaking was believed to be so widespread because the tremors of the quake were shallow at between one and four miles deep.

It’s the strongest quake to hit the Virginia area since 1897 - and resulted in buildings such as the Capitol and Pentagon being evacuated.

The quake’s severity was ’highly unusual’, one Brown University professor said, although it was in an area known for smaller quakes and it spread because of accommodating terrain.

’This is the largest earthquake by far that I am aware of occurring there in recent history,’ seismology professor Karen Fisher said.

The wide spread of the shockwaves was common for the east coast - which is largely due to the difference in the terrain, research seismologist Peggy Hellweg said in California.

’(California’s) ground is all of this chopped-up stuff - like a pile of marbles,’ she said, which means that the waves from a quake don’t spread out that far.

But in eastern America, ’what you’ve got there is gorgeous bedrock (and) the waves propagate beautifully.’

In addition, there is a difference in plate tectonics because the west coast is over the boundary between the North American and the Pacific.

She said in the East, ’There’s no driving engine in terms of the two plates sliding past each other - so that’s why it’s much more unusual.’



Small earthquakes have been happening in central Virginia since at least the 1770s, reported the U.S. Geological Survey.

Quakes in central and eastern parts of the U.S. are less frequent than those in the west but are normally felt over a larger region.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains can be felt over an area up to ten times larger than one of a similar strength in the west.

An earthquake of the 5.5 level can often be felt as far as 300 miles from where it happened and cause damaged up to 25 miles away.

Quakes happen on faults within bedrock that are usually miles deep, reported the U.S. Geological Survey.

Bedrock beneath Virginia came together as continents collided to create a super-continent up to 500 million years ago.

This was what raised the Appalachian Mountains and the bedrock rifted apart to form northeastern America and Europe.

The nearest plate boundaries from the central Virginia seismic zone are in the centre of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

But few shakes in the seismic zone can be connected to named faults because many are deeply buried and undetected.

Therefore the best guide to earthquake hazards in this seismic zone is actually the earthquakes themselves.

’There’ll be an earthquake in New York soon,’ seismologist said in February

A top seismologist warned in February that New York City was due for a big earthquake, following the last big shake of 5.3 in 1884.

Won-Young Kim, of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, said the city gets a big quake around every 100 years.

Magnitude 5 earthquakes would not be expected to take down buildings, but could damage brick buildings and chimneys, scientists predicted.

Seismologist John Armbruster told Metro New York in February that a big earthquake could result in ’billions in damage’ and even deaths.

Virginia’s 5.9 shake of 1897 and others

The largest earthquake to originate in Virginia in recent times was a 5.9 in May 1897, with the epicentre in Giles County.

An earlier tremor four weeks before had already caused damage in the area.

The shock was felt in Georgia, Pennsylvania and in Indiana and Kentucky - covering an area of around 725,000 sq km.

Virginia has suffered more than 160 earthquakes in 30 years - but only a sixth were actually felt.

The largest damaging earthquake in the seismic zone was a 4.8 in 1875. The biggest was 5.9 in 1897, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Last October a 2.4 hit near Ashland and a 2.4 struck north of Richmond, but there were no injuries or damages.

Source: dailymail.co.uk




Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Starbucks Supports Pro-GMO Company
2014 11 26
Another reason why you should not go to Starbucks. Starbucks has an image of being a socially responsible, environmentally friendly company (Really?). In 2013, 95 percent of their coffee was ethically sourced, and their goal is to reach 100 percent by 2015.1 Other goals include reducing water consumption by 25 percent in their company-operated stores by 20152 and mobilizing their employees and ...
Group Polarization and the Fad of Ethno-masochism
2014 11 26
From "Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 6 50 (6): 1141--1151 The psychology of White self hatred. Political correctness IS a mental disorder. More: Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Isenberg, Daniel J. the paper Indoctrinate U Harvard Professor Noel Ignatiev talks about how to end the White race The History of Political Correctness The Narrative: The origins of Political ...
Credo: A Nietzschean Testament by Jonathan Bowden
2014 11 26
This lecture by Jonathan Bowden was given at the 11th New Right meeting in London on September 8, 2007. The original title of the presentation was “The Art and Philosophy of Jonathan Bowden.” I think ideas are inborn, and you’re attracted, if you have any, toward certain systems of thinking and sensibility and response. From a very young age, I was ...
A Look Back at the OJ Simpson Verdict -- Reactions
2014 11 26
This is a look back at the different reactions to the OJ Simpson verdict some 20 years ago (exact date of verdict was Oct 3, 1995). The OJ Simpson jury consisted of 9 Blacks, 1 Hispanic, and 2 Whites. It would raise eyebrows after they only deliberated for 4 hours in a case that they were involved in for almost ...
New York Times Publishes Darren Wilson’s Street Address and Photo of House #Ferguson
2014 11 26
Hey here are the two @nytimes scumbags that published Wilson’s home address. —> @juliebosman & @campbellnyt— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) November 25, 2014 Michael Brown’s Stepdad Shouting ‘Burn This Bitch Down’ The New York Times published information about the address of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Monday in a move that has generated controversy. Tensions are running high in Ferguson, Missouri, as ...
More News »