M 5.1 Earthquake North Carolina

 In Event News

A M 5.1 earthquake struck south-east of Sparta, North Carolina this morning. While relatively minor, the shaking was felt over a widespread area, from Augusta, Georgia in the south, and north to Staunton, Virginia.

The USGS has categorized this event as a mid-plate, or intraplate, earthquake, which are generally less common than the interplate earthquakes occuring near tectonic plate boundaries. While large earthquakes are rare in the North Carolina – Virginia region, aftershocks are expected and the USGS noted that several foreshocks took place before today’s event.

This earthquake was preceded by at least four small foreshocks ranging from M 2.1-2.6, beginning about 25 hours prior to the mainshock.

USGS Executive Summary, August 9, 2020

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