Weather Center

Monday, February 28, 2011

Shake, Rattle, and Roll. Sunday Night Quake

9:20 AM Monday update... I just talked to Scott Ausbrooks with the Arkansas Geologic Survey.  He said this is the largest quake in Arkansas since 1976 when a 5.0 was recorded along the New Madrid fault.  The earthquake last night in northern Faulkner county was the largest in this particular swarm.  Scott says we can expect a few aftershocks over the next week with an outside chance for one registering 4.0 or above.  Scott told me that studies show IF the entire fault in northern Faulkner county goes off, it can reach a magnitude of 5.0 to 5.5.  BUT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO PREDICT IF THAT WILL EVER HAPPEN.

Over the past week, there have been more than 50 earthquakes in northern Faulkner county.
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We thought weather was going to make headlines Sunday night, but once again Mother Nature had different plans.

Our news went on late Sunday night due to the Oscars so the weather portion of the newscast didn't end until shortly after 11 PM.  Once I finished, our producer Shan, asked me to find out if we had a quake.  I immediately opened my iPhone earthquake app and it showed a 4.7 just northeast of Greenbrier.  I knew right away it was the biggest in at least 10 years and probably more.  None of us at the station felt it and many of my friends and family in Little Rock didn't feel it as well.  That must be due to the type of rock we are on in the city. 

With phones ringing non stop in the newsroom, we went on the air with the quake details.  The seismic zone in northern Faulkner county is the most active area for earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. since the 1980s.  A couple of weeks ago, I talked to Arkansas Geologic Suvery's Scott Ausbrooks and he told me there's a 6 km fault in that portion of Faulkner county.  To this day, it's still uncertain if and how disposal wells are playing a part in the recent ramp up in activity.

Anyway, the quake was felt all over the mid south, but as far as I can tell, any damage is very minor if any at all... mainly rattled nerves and many Arkansans wondering, WHAT'S NEXT!?

As far as severe weather, northern Arkansas experienced the strong thunderstorm winds and we escaped the worst of it.

Seismic activity since 1990
Where it was felt

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

We felt something really strange last night in Batesville. Our windows trembled and there was a noise like strong wind, but it was still outside. Wow!!

jackiejohn said...

I live 6 miles north of Fox,Ar. The earthquake shook things here too. Heard rumbling and the house was vibrating and rattling then a boom.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I felt it pretty good in Mabelvale, AR just south of Little Rock. It was a little shaking, but did not knock anything down, everything just shook. So it wasn't that severe here.

Anonymous said...

That's crazy. I'm in Conway and didn't feel a thing.

Anonymous said...

You see kaleb an nlr weatherman told you sunday system wouldnt come together for a severe outbreak but the earthquake i didnt expect. I heard on the news the quake was felt as far away as kentucky and indiana.

fugitive247 said...

Several of us up here in Fulton County were pretty unnerved by the events. From comments I've read on Twitter and Facebook, it seems the perceived intensity did fluctuate throughout the county. It appears that those of us closer to Mammoth Spring experienced more upheaval than our neighbors in the more "solid" southern section of the county.

Anonymous said...

I live in a high rise in downtown little rock and I felt shaking and like my bed was shaking. It was wierd. I knew what it was though.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I had the blog up, keeping tabs on the weather situation, when the floor shook, the windows rattled, and I heard a low rumbling sound. It couldn't have lasted more than a few seconds. At first I thought "Is that thunder?", then it dawned on me - Earthquake! I checked the blog and the instant messages were blowing up with comments about the earthquake. We've had it all over the past year - Snow storms, tornadoes, flash floods, drought, wildfires.....My goodness, I hope there aren't any dormant volcanoes lurking somewhere......

Susan in Heber....

Anonymous said...

I live in west little rock close to ja fair high school. It was about 10..55 pm at the time. I had just looked at the radar on the weather channel and all the thunderstorms were in eastern oklahoma. I turned the t to another channel. all of a sudden a few minutes later i heard thunder outside i said that strange those storms in oklahoma at least 3 hours away from little rock i looked at the clock it said two minutes after 11. i thought maybe we had a thunderstorm developing overhead. but no we didnt no lightning or not one rain drop. then i turn to channel 7 a they filled me in on what happened. it just makes me wonder if these quakes are just thebaby ones compared to the devestating one that could be near.

Shelley said...

Susan in Heber....you crack me up! Hope not either! I live near Ward and I felt the earthquake last night. I was in bed and felt it begin to shake. It didn't last long, maybe 5-8 seconds or so, but it was an odd sort of shaking. Like someone was underneath the bed moving it. I thought it might have been an earthquake and then I got Todd's tweet about 10 minutes later saying that there had been one. I am from Jonesboro and remember having to stand in a doorway once because everything in the house rattled. It was in the late 70's timeframe...so its been a while. It seems like the earthquakes around Greenbrier are getting stronger. We built our house one year ago and I actually purchased earthquake insurance and now I am so glad I did. Don't know what possessed me to do it? Glad we didn't have tornadoes last night...earthquake was enough!

Shelley

Anonymous said...

Todd i have respect for you weather guys an gals arkansas weather is crazy an extreme to say the least snow storm to lightning to deadly floods to killer tornadoes u alp earn your paychecks i will say that.

Chad Gardner said...

I wonder if the dormant volcano down in Murfreesboro, AR is going to wake up and start making diamonds for us again? Wouldn't surprise me with everything else we've got going on, lol

Erin said...

I know Todd says it's uncertain if the disposal wells from the fracking are playing a part here, but I have NO doubts. This site as some good info about it: http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22667

I live in west LR and felt it. Some vases on my bookshelf were rattling and I heard a definite rumble. I thought it was a big truck passing by, but I knew it wasn't when it lasted more than 5 seconds.

cb6000 said...

After last night, I think it's a great idea to read up on what to do to, in case a larger earthquake occurs. I'm not saying we're going to get the big one here, but anything can happen

jimmylee42 said...

Looking at the World list of 2.5 and greater earthquakes. That little Arkansas fault is leading the World in the number of 2.5 quakes over the last 36 hours.

I haven't felt one of them yet and I can't blame the Baz bubble.

nlrweatherman said...

Love the fact that arkansas is the only state to get risks for severe weather. Keep it coming SPC. I love the severe weather

Anonymous said...

O good lord! The people that think the earthquakes are caused from the oil pipeline are stupid. Does anyone understand that this planet has cycles? Obviously not! People should read the bible more often!! It says there will be great earthquakes and there has. The bad part is, this comes from people who could forcast a winterstorm on the same day it shoulda happened. I hate scientists. They dont know anything!!

Anonymous said...

to last Anonymous: I hate people who can't spell or speak correctly and what oil pipeline are you referring to? You should try getting out more and become more in tune with what is going on before spouting your nonsense.

Anonymous said...

To last anonymous. Since you dont know what oil pipeline. Its the natural gas pipeline that runs up into northeastern arkansas. Go read into it or drive around! I hate people who has a problem with other peoples opinions! The fault is active. Get ready! Cause we had a big one before. We will get another big one again!