Friday, February 24, 2006

Earthquake frenzy

I've always wanted to feel one. Since I've been in Ottawa (nearly 8 years) I've heard of several earthquakes in the area that could be felt, but I'd never been lucky enought to feel one. This evening, there was a magnitude 4.0 just a few kilometers away (38KM according to Google Earth).

Not much to speak of... a very low rumble, and vibration... kinda like a large truck going down the road... but the house creaked a bit, and the rumble seemed to carry on for about 10 seconds afterwards getting lower and dimmer all the time.

Tam thought a plane was about to fly into the house. Nova was a bit upset... and I believe he thought it was someone upstairs or at the door.

Included is an image from the Canadian National Seismograh Network that shows the quake I felt (aprox 8:40 EST = 1:40 UTC). I do wish NRCan would improve it's earthquake web service however... their servers were blocked shortly after the quake. I guess the 1/2 million geeks in the Ottawa area all wanted to know what they felt.

Fortunately, the USGS is on the ball: "A light earthquake occurred at 01:39:23 (UTC) on Saturday, February 25, 2006. The magnitude 4.0 event has been located in the ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA."

They also have some details including the depth (15 km), and distances from major areas (42 km from Ottawa center).

Update: NRCan has come in with some slightly different (and I assume more accurate) data: "An earthquake of magnitude 4.5 MN occured on 2006-02-25 at 01:39:22 Universal Time. The epicentre was located at latitude 45.66 North and longitude 75.23 West. 7 km N from Thurso, QC". This puts it slightly north of the USGS. There's some difference in the scales used in different areas (4.0 vs 4.5). Apparently MN and M are not the same thing, as quakes propogate differently in eastern North America so sometimes they adjust the numbers.

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