Earthquake strikes below Lake Erie

An earthquake struck at 10:31 a.m. June 10, only about one-half mile off the Lake County, Ohio, shoreline and at a depth of about three miles underneath Lake Erie, a figure geologists consider as being shallow.

The 4.2-magnitude event shook such nearby communities as Euclid, Wickliffe, Mentor, and Eastlake, though local police departments did not report any damage. Agencies did field numerous telephone inquiries, however.

A series of several 2.1- to 2.5-magnitude aftershocks were recorded as well, said Eric Heis, geologist with the Ohio DNR’s Division of Geological Survery.

“Seismic activity of 2.5 and above can generally be felt. This is a known epicenter of earthquakes, due to the geologic history of the area,” Heis said.

This location, both beneath and near Lake Erie in the Lake County area, is a fairly active fault zone. The last tremor in this region was a 2.0 magnitude event on March 3 in Lake County’s Concord Township. This event was preceded by a 2.1 magnitude incident on Dec. 7, 2018, also underneath Lake Erie and about four miles north of Fairport Harbor.

To date for 2019, Ohio has recorded six earthquakes. Another 10 were recorded in 2018, 12 in 2017, and 11 in 2016.

Since 2010, Ohio has experienced nearly 100 earthquakes measuring at least 2.0 magnitude, of which only one other event was recorded at 4.0 magnitude or more, reports the Ohio Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio is on the periphery of the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The origins of Ohio earthquakes, as with earthquakes throughout the eastern United States, are poorly understood. Those in Ohio appear to be associated with ancient zones of weakness in the Earth’s crust that formed during rifting and continental collision events about a billion years ago, the Geological Survey says also.

Ohioans who felt this – or any other similar – event in the state are encouraged to call the Division of Geological Survey’s Ohio Seismic Survey at 855-782-5364.

Categories: Ohio – Jeffrey Frischkorn

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