2 Small Quakes in North Carolina

With the recent large quake in Japan people obviously are more sensitive to quakes no matter where you live. Late Tuesday evening at 10:15pm a 2.1 magnitude quake struck Hendersonville, NC and then another 2.3 magnitude quake struck almost the exact same place at 7:25 this morning. While these were very small quakes and really pretty normal for the Carolinas. The fact that 2 occurred so close together both spatial and temporally is a bit odd. Here’s a look at the 2 quakes locations.

snapshot1snapshot (1)

Quakes in this area are not all that rare, anywhere you have mountain ranges you are likely to have some quakes. The same processes that build mountains can make the ground shake even with the absence of major fault lines. The USGS has a earth quake hazard map that show where quakes are most likely in the Carolinas. The largest quake ever recorded in North Carolina was a 5.2 near Asheville in 1916. Though in South Carolina Charleston has seen a 7.3 quake in 1886 which caused damage even here in Charlotte.

Here are the earthquake hazard maps for the Carolinas.

hazards (1)hazards

While large quakes are rare and even the small one happen in frequently the Carolinas still are much more active than most people think.