4TH MINOR EARTHQUAKE CONFIRMED BY USGS; MAGNITUDE 2.2 NEAR POLLARD… The U.S. Geological Survey confirms that a magnitude 2.2 earthquake happened early Wednesday (March 13, 2019) morning at 1:50 AM CDT. This brings the total number of minor earthquakes up to 4 in the last 11 days. I received a few reports of ground shaking earlier today that pointed to the same timeframe and same general area that led me to reach out to USGS. After reviewing seismology data, a geophysicist confirmed that this was, indeed, a 4th earthquake that caused the shaking in the middle of the night.
WHY ARE MINOR EARTHQUAKES HAPPENING? There has been quite a bit of speculation that the recent minor earthquakes in south Alabama and northwest Florida have been caused by oil/gas exploration. Specifically, one technique of oil extraction called fracking has been suspected of causing the quakes. A trained geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) indicates that it’s impossible to attribute the local quakes directly to fracking. Our area lies along a normally inactive fault line known as the Bahama Fracture Zone. Earthquakes generally don’t happen along the fault, but seeing minor activity like this is not uncommon nor unprecedented. It should be stressed that while it is highly unusual to have several minor earthquakes, it is NOT a cause for panic or alarm. Several small quakes are not at all necessarily indicative of a larger foreshock on the way.
THANKS FOR THE REPORTS… I appreciate everyone who instantly sends me messages when we have ground shaking. These earthquakes are highly localized and may not be detected by USGS if it weren’t for your consistent reporting. Let me know if you feel ground shaking or other minor earthquakes in the days and weeks ahead. More *minor* earthquakes are possible.
APP ALERTS… We continue to monitor severe weather to the north this evening, but the overall severe weather risk for south Alabama and northwest Florida remains LOW this evening. Showers and storms will move by overnight.
My next forecast video will be posted by 7:15AM on Friday. See you then!