Georgia Earthquakes Pale to Those of JapanMarch 14 | Posted by editor | News, Regional Tags: feature
Blairsville/Hiawassee, GA – Last week just outside of Louisville, TN, less than a 100 miles away, an earthquake of a magnitude of 1.3 shook beneath the surface. While this particular one happened to the north in Tennessee, Georgia is not immune to earthquakes.
Historically, no earthquakes of a magnitude of 3.5 or greater, has occurred in Georgia for at least 30 years. The fact is most states are at risk of major earthquakes, with 39 of the 50 states in moderate to high risk areas for seismic activity according to ABC News. Earthquake hazard areas within the United States are based on fault lines with the Towns/Union county area at a 8-16% risk with 16-32% just to the west in Fannin County. The closest fault lines to the area are the Blue Ridge Fault running to the west and the Brevard Fault running to the Southeast.
Earthquakes in Georgia are rare although in 1973 there was an earthquake on record at a 4.6 Magnitude that rocked the Union and Towns County area. Most earthquakes occurring in North Georgia reside on the Blue Ridge Fault with a magnitude 4.0 earthquake about every 10 years. While most people living in the area may never notice an earthquake, residents who live near local quarries may be very familiar with vibrations from blasts that feel very much like small earthquakes.
To monitor Seismicity for Georgia visit http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/georgia/seismicity.php.