An earthquake in Indiana? Really?

Yes indeed, add this one to the list of earthquakes during this active 2010 year.

An earthquake, initially reported as a magnitude 4.2 struck at 7:55 AM local time, located 4.9 km (3 miles) below an innocent looking field between County Roads 1250E and 1330E, 13 miles east of Kokomo, Indiana.

Two observations about this earthquake are interesting. One, it was very shallow. Two, hardly any other earthquakes have ever occurred in this area before.

30 years ago, a small magnitude 3.0 was located near Portland, about 50 miles away. 6 years ago a magnitude 3.6 rumbled near Fairland, about 60 miles away. All totaled, only a very few number of earthquakes have shook the immediate region of northern Indiana during all of recorded history.

Although Indiana is nearly centered on the North American Plate, and is furthest away from tectonic plate boundaries 2,500 miles to the east and 2,000 miles to the west, there is a fault line, the Sharpsville falut (of unknown depth), located north of Indianapolis near Kokomo. There is the possibility that this earthquake is indicating that the fault is becoming active.

The earthquake serves as a reminder that they can happen just about anywhere, in places where they’ve never occurred before, and with zero warning.

Got earthquake insurance? ;=)


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