Maine rattle by swarms of microquakes

May 3, 2011SEARSPORT, Maine — As many as 30 tiny earthquakes have been detected over the last few days in the area between Belfast and Bucksport, but geologists say there’s no cause for alarm. “Microquakes is what we call them,” Henry Berry, a bedrock geologist with Maine Geological Survey, said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “Unless you were right there, you wouldn’t notice them.” But plenty of people have been noticing, Searsport Police Chief Dick LaHaye said Tuesday afternoon, just minutes after he dispatched an officer to Savory Road, where a resident had called to inform authorities about another earthquake. They’ve responded to calls about gunshots and shotgun blasts, calls from people who felt their feet vibrate along with the earth and calls about things falling off shelves — all of which were determined to be related to the earthquake, he said. “We’ll continue to investigate,” LaHaye said. “There’s obviously something going on. It’s outside of the police purview at this point, but we’ll continue to respond to any and all calls that come in.” The quakes have all measured less than 2 on the Richter magnitude scale, according to a press release from the Maine Department of Conservation. On that scale, the threshold at which damage can occur is magnitude 5. Typically, Maine experiences several small earthquakes of magnitude 2 or less each year, according to Dr. Robert Marvinney, Maine state geologist and director of the Maine Geological Survey. The quakes occur in response to the movement of large rock plates that make up Earth’s crust, even though Maine is not near a plate boundary, where most of the large earthquakes occur, he said. “The crust in Maine is still adjusting to the loss of thick ice at the end of the last ice age, and this may be a cause for some earthquakes,” Marvinney said in the release. A few people who were near the microquake epicenters contacted authorities because they heard unusual noises, Berry said. “Probably the thing you would notice would be noise — it would be a bang or a pop,” he said, “almost like the ice cracking in a pond in the winter.” A dispatcher at Waldo County Regional Communications Center said Tuesday that there have been some calls from concerned residents, mostly from the Searsport area. “They don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “They think it’s blasting.” –Bangor Daily News
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14 Responses to Maine rattle by swarms of microquakes

  1. Marilyn says:

    Atlantic Rift stretching?


  2. Bundy says:

    What puzzles me is the richter magnitude scale of the quakes being less than a 2.Speaking from my own experiences,you cannot really feel a quake of this size.I would suggest that the quakes are actually bigger in magnitude than is stated.Unless their is some other contributing factor.


  3. Tina Marie says:

    Ok Alvin, you have to enlighten me. What the heck is going on in Maine and should we start to expect events like these in other stastes that don’t usually experience seismic activity?


  4. A_lad says:

    Kinetic, that is a great word to describe it 🙂


  5. Golfdad641 says:

    I noticed more quakes in Washington State, Nevada and Alaska and while on business trip in california, folks didn’t notice the small quakes. Thought it was funny they acted like it is a part of everyday life. Also other parts of the world are beginning to pick up as well. But wondering how many other quakes doesn’t the USGS doesnt report? But all I can do is pray and prepare for the world to change and the coming of our Lord Jesus, keep up the great work in letting people informed on what is going on.



  6. Evita says:

    Interesting. It is amazing how much stuff goes unreported. There seems to be a lot pointing now at major and increasing changes when it comes to various Earth shifts on the planet. The key is simple to stay conscious, stay informed and not panic. There is a reason for everything and some of us are just now starting to grasp the bigger picture of all that is.


  7. Jens Skapski says:

    What is with the possibly active supervolcano in Maine which is shown on this map:


  8. Dov says:

    Question: I was just on the USGS map, the US side, and I noticed that you could run a ruler from the Baja earthquake, through the border one near Texas, through the one in central Texas, Arkansas, then Mo., all the way to Maine then to the one in New Brunswick. Coincidence, or??


    • It’s not a fissure or fault line that runs that length but it could be stress exerted along the land mass in general that happens to fall along this region—-perhaps an interesting coincidence. Keep the watchful eye going. You never know what else you might spot.



  9. Kim says:

    ‘what is with the possibly active supervolcano in Maine which is shown on this map’
    my mouth just fell open but that seems to keep happening as I go through all of the posts on this website. However supervolcano in maine? It sounds impossible but anything is possible in this unstable world. I just never though Maine.


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