Why Was There an Earthquake Right Across the Iowa Border Today?
I was born and raised in Missouri so I'm familiar with earthquakes along the New Madrid Fault. I also lived in California 30 years ago where earthquakes are a daily occurrence. But, why in the world was there an earthquake big enough to be felt right across the Iowa border today? I am mystified.
According to the USGS, there was a 2.7 earthquake that happened right across the Iowa border near Sioux Falls, South Dakota today. Here's where it was reported on the USGS map.
I'm not trying to make this appear like a 2.7 earthquake is a big deal although you'll notice that someone already has reported feeling it. A 2.7 isn't big enough to even wake up a squirrel if it happened directly under the tree where it lived. But, this inspired me to do some research and I was surprised at what I learned.
So Iowa really can have earthquakes?
I found a study by Cornell University that says there are deep faults that are "associated with an ancient, failed continental rift". Interesting. They go onto say that "really big quakes like that one are exceedingly rare" in Iowa. Great news, Iowa farming friends.
I check the USGS earthquake page daily and I can't ever recall seeing an earthquake in this part of America. Perhaps if you live in Sioux Falls, you were wondering what small tremor rattled your dishes. This would appear to be it.
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