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August 24, 2011

Earthquakes in Virginia 1774—2004


If what's past is prologue, we're in for a bumpy ride.

As any fool can plainly see from the map up top, your faithful correspondent here in Charlottesville is pretty much at ground zero.

Below, a map of Virginia's greatest hits during the past 230 years.


Below, the abstract of a 2006 U.S. Geological Survey report on the past 230 years of seismic activity in Virginia, which accompanied the maps.

Earthquakes in Virginia and Vicinity 1774–2004

This map summarizes two and a third centuries of earthquake activity. The seismic history consists of letters, journals, diaries, and newspaper and scholarly articles that supplement seismograph recordings (seismograms) dating from the early twentieth century to the present. All of the pre- instrumental (historical) earthquakes were large enough to be felt by people or to cause shaking damage to buildings and their contents. Later, widespread use of seismographs meant that tremors too small or distant to be felt could be detected and accurately located.

Earthquakes are a legitimate concern in Virginia and parts of adjacent states. Moderate earthquakes cause slight local damage somewhere in the map area about twice a decade on the average. Additionally, many buildings in the map area were constructed before earthquake protection was added to local building codes. The large map [top] shows all historical and instrumentally located earthquakes from 1774 through 2004.


Nice job by my Crack Research Team unearthing the USGS document.

August 24, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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Says it all...


Posted by: Joe Peach | Aug 24, 2011 4:53:56 PM

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