DTM Scientists Monitor Aftershocks of Rare Delaware Earthquake

A weak earthquake hit Delaware on November 30, 2017. Credit: USGS
A weak earthquake hit Delaware on November 30, 2017. Credit: USGS

Monday, December 4, 2017

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A magnitude 4.1 earthquake shook Dover, Delaware on the evening of November 30, 2017. Although it was a weak earthquake with no serious damage or casualties, tremors could be felt as far as Washington, DC.

It was an exceptionally rare earthquake due to its location in the U.S. East Coast, and DTM scientists moved quick to study it shortly after it occurred.

DTM's Diana Roman setting up a quick deploy seismic station on December 1, 2017. Credit: Diana Roman

Together with teams from the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Maryland, Columbia University, Lehigh University, and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, DTM scientists traveled to several locations near the epicenter on December 31 in order to set up quick deploy seismic stations.

Designed and built by DTM, these stations will help scientists to look at aftershock data over the weeks following the earthquake.

Locations of seismic stations near epicenter of Delaware earthquake. Map by DTM's Lara Wagner, via Google Maps.

Quick deploy of 14 stations in Delaware and four in New Jersey was possible because all the equipment needed to install a single seismic station fits inside a 35-pound box, which is even suitable for checked luggage.

While the cause of the Dover earthquake remains a mystery, studying its aftershocks can help scientists to better understand these types of rare earthquakes.

Learn more about the scientific implications of the event from DTM's Lara Wagner:

https://sites.google.com/carnegiescience.edu/lara-s-wagner/news/dover-de-earthquake