Friday April 18, 2008

Earthquake Shakes Ohio

A UD geology professor commented on the earthquake that hit southern Illinois in the early morning, sending tremors as far away as Dayton.

Allen McGrew, University of Dayton professor and chair of the geology department, called an early-morning earthquake in Illinois a "pretty stiff jolt."

The effects of the quake could be felt in Dayton nearly 300 miles away, though McGrew said he slept through the tremors, which occurred around 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time April 18.

"I didn't feel it, but my son said he woke up to what sounded like a garage-door opening, and my sister-in-law said she thought a train was passing by, but we don't have any trains near our house," he said.

The earthquake registered a 5.2 magnitude, according to the United States Geological Survey, with aftershocks reaching a magnitude 4.6.

"It was a big quake, around the level where you could have chimneys topple or poorly built houses receive damage, though sturdier homes and one-story ranches wouldn't be affected," McGrew said.

He said tremors can be felt so far away because in the Midwest, the strata are flat line and they're mostly continuous, so the energy transmission is much more efficient.

Allen McGrew at 937-229-3432 or Allen.McGrew@notes.udayton.edu