Virginia Earthquake Shakes Louisville, Eastern Kentucky

by admin on August 23, 2011

by Alan Lytle, Kentucky Public Radio

Tremors from a 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered near Richmond, Va., shook parts of eastern Kentucky, with at least two people reporting feeling some shaking as far away as Louisville.  Mike Lynch, with the Kentucky Geologic Survey at the University of Kentucky, says he’s not all that surprised that tremors were felt in the Derby City.

“The geology between that epicenter, and the furthest distance that it is felt, is varied.” he said. ” So there are going to be places between the epicenter and the furthest distance of felt reports, where it’s very well felt.  Other places right in between there may not feel it at all.”

Lynch says the earthquake was only about one kilometer in depth, so it didn’t affect some areas of the state. It was felt in eastern Kentucky, but not Lexington.

“So why was it felt in Louisville? “ he said. “One of the answers to that question has to do with the fact that Louisville and so many larger cities are on the silty, wet, soils that characterize riverbanks.  Louisville is on the Ohio riverbanks.”

KGS officials say today’s quake was far stronger than the one that hit the same geographic area in 2003.  That one measured 4.5 on the Richter scale.

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