Microquake felt in midcoast, barely

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 15, 2011, at 7:31 p.m.

LINCOLNVILLE, Maine — Residents in the Camden and Lincolnville area might have felt the slight tremors of a minor earthquake at 6 a.m. Wednesday, much to the surprise of officials at the Maine Geological Survey.

The magnitude 1.3 “microquake,” as it was called by Maine Geological Survey bedrock geologist Henry Berry, was far weaker than what people on the Earth’s surface can usually detect.

“The amazing thing to me is that we did get a call from someone in the Camden area who noticed it,” said Berry. Data from quake-measuring instruments indicated that the tremor was located about four miles underground. Because of its weakness, Berry said the epicenter is hard to pinpoint and any guess could be as much as a mile off.

Historically, Maine has experienced an earthquake of magnitude 3 or below about once a year and a magnitude 4 or below about every 20 years, said Berry. Maine experienced microquakes similar to Wednesday’s in July and August in Bucksport and off the coast of Machias, respectively.

Berry said based on the composition of the bedrock in Maine coupled with a history of virtually no major earthquakes, there probably isn’t reason for concern.

“It’s really an individual decision about whether someone wants to be worried about earthquakes in Maine,” he said. “For me, I’m not worried about it.”

Information about earthquakes in Maine is available at the Maine Geological Survey’s website at http://www.maine.gov/doc/nrimc/mgs/mgs.htm.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/15/news/midcoast/microquake-felt-in-midcoast-barely/ printed on August 29, 2014