Haiti, Chile, China, California, and now, NW Arkansas...
Quote: UA Geology Dept. Calls Benton County Earthquake Rare


Robert Boyd


10:46 PM CDT, April 29, 2010

The University of Arkansas' Geology Department received several calls Thursday afternoon regarding the Benton County earthquake and they were just as surprised as everyone else.

"It's pretty rare, I don't know when the last earthquake may have been here," said Dr. Stephen Boss, of the Department of Geosciences.

Boss did say that a 2.5 magnitude quake takes place about one million times over the course of the year. In many cases people can't even feel it, but as the magnitude goes up, they become rarer and the amount of damage increases. Four or five magnitude usually results in property damage, while an eight or nine can have a major economic impact and loss of life.

A magnitude nine earthquake only occurs an average of once a year. The earthquake that killed nearly 500 people in Chile earlier this year was a 8.8 magnitude.

"Each step up the Richter Scale is 10 times stronger than the previous level," said Boss.

He believes the earthquake hit somewhere near the Bella Vista Fault line. "There are a number of other faults among the state and Northwest Arkansas, many of these are very ancient structures, very, very old and generally there aren't really seismically active anymore, they were active hundreds of millions of years ago," said Boss.

He said that people should be surprised, but not concerned. "I wouldn't expect a recurrence of any large earthquakes to develop out of this," said Boss.

Copyright 2010, KFSM-TV

Quote: Earthquake Hits Benton County


Carla Scallan


9:51 PM CDT, April 29, 2010
Click here to find out more!

This morning Benton County residents literally felt the ground shake beneath them. It turns out, a 2.5 magnitude earthquake struck the area.

Centerton residents described it as a loud boom or wham; Something that sounded more like an explosion than an earthquake.

Jennifer Bassham was at home with her two-year-old daughter when the quake struck. She said she was standing in her kitchen, and all of a sudden her entire house shook, then the loud boom. According to Bassham, it only lasted a second or two, but was enough to make some items on her window seal fall to the ground.

Kenn Nutt is the Vice President of BEMCO in Centerton. He was sitting at his computer when he felt what he described as a quick jar. His initial thought was that someone had driven a delivery truck into the back of the plant. But, when he went outside he was baffled to find no truck and no damage. It wasn't until a fire official came over and shared the news that he realized it was an earthquake.

Bassham and Nutt have lived in the area for years and never expected a quake to hit so close to home.

"You always think California, you know, all those other big places sure, and maybe even minor ones, but not big ones where you can actually feel it," said Bassham.

"We always think of the New Madrid Fault over near Memphis, but I never thought of anything like that happening here," said Nutt.

Copyright 2010, KFSM-TV

Yeah, I know, it was only a 2.5 magnitude quake, but the fact that it happened, rattled (no pun intended) several people here, who thought that it "couldn't happen here."  Many people here aren't even aware of the fact that there is such a thing as the Bella Vista Fault.
OK, this is getting just a little too weird.  Has anyone checked on Yellowstone lately?

Here is a link to the US Geological Survey sight that shows all of the earthquakes in the world.  Enjoy! Wink


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