The last notable earthquake in Illinois occurred on November 4, 2020 at 11:15 p. m. The quake, which had a magnitude of 4. 3, was centered near Albion in Edwards County, near the Indiana border. It was felt as far north as Chicago and as far west as the Quad Cities, and could be felt even farther away.
The quake was reported by over 1,400 people that night, and was described as a “sharp jolt” or “a loud rumble” in some areas. No significant damage has been reported, but many residents in the area felt the quake and reported feeling rattled for some time afterward.
Has Illinois ever had an earthquake?
Yes, Illinois has experienced several earthquakes over the years. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the most recent earthquake to occur in the region was a magnitude 4. 3 that shook south of White Hall on April 18, 2020.
This is the largest earthquake to occur in the region since a magnitude 4. 6 occurring in November 2002. As far as historic earthquakes, Illinois also experienced the 1811-1812 New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquakes, a series of three large-scale earthquakes that occurred in the Mississippi Valley region.
These quakes were reported to have been felt as far north as Chicago. The first of these three events is estimated to have been between a magnitude 7. 5-8. 0 and the followup shocks in 1811 and 1812 are estimated to have been a magnitude 6.
0-7. 0. Though there have been many smaller earthquakes that have occurred in Illinois, these are some of the major seismic events recorded in the region.
How many earthquakes has Illinois?
Since records began being kept in 1843, the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) has recorded 38,000 earthquakes in Illinois. Most of these earthquakes have been small, measuring less than magnitude 3.
0 on the Richter scale. Some seismic activity has occurred in the form of larger earthquakes, such as a magnitude 4. 3 earthquake that struck near Mt. Carmel, Illinois in 1968. The ISGS estimates that Illinois experiences approximately 1,200 to 1,500 earthquakes every year – though most go undetected.
Earthquakes are a rare but natural occurrence in Illinois, so it’s important for residents to understand the risks and prepare for the potential impact of an earthquake.
Is Illinois on a fault line?
No, Illinois is not on a major fault line. The only active fault line found in Illinois is the Wabash Valley fault system, which is located in the southwestern part of the state. This fault system can cause some small earthquakes, but generally, these earthquakes are localized and rarely felt outside the local area.
The Wabash Valley fault system has been classified by the United States Geological Survey as a low-risk seismic hazard, with a potential for infrequent minor earthquakes. Even though Illinois is not on a major fault line, it is still at risk of induced and natural earthquakes from ongoing human activities, such as construction and fracking.
Can Illinois be hit by a tsunami?
Yes, it is possible for Illinois to be hit by a tsunami, although it is a low probability event. Tsunamis in the region can potentially be caused by earthquakes occurring on or near the Illinois-Wisconsin border, or further away in the Mississippi embayment.
While tsunamis in the region are rare, destructive ones have occurred in Lake Michigan in the past. In 1832, an earthquake of estimated magnitude between 7. 5 and 8 caused a tsunami along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan.
The resulting wave heights, estimated at around 16 feet, destroyed nearly the entire settlement of Southport, Wisconsin. While it is highly unlikely another tsunami of this magnitude will occur in the region, smaller ones can still be generated by powerful earthquakes in surrounding states.
To be safe, people living in coastal areas of Illinois should familiarize themselves with what to do if a tsunami warning is issued.
What 5 states have the most earthquakes?
The five states with the most earthquakes are California, Alaska, Nevada, Hawaii, and Washington. California has the most earthquakes due to its location on the Ring of Fire, a region of the Pacific Ocean with many seismic activity.
Alaska, located on the same region of the Pacific Ocean, has a large number of earthquakes due to its proximity to tectonic plates and nearby volcanoes. Nevada is another state located on the Ring of Fire, which means there are a large number of earthquakes due to its location.
Hawaii has a lot of earthquakes from its volcanic activity. Lastly, Washington is located on the Pacific Northwest Seismic Zone, another region of seismic activity. All of these states have relatively high rates of earthquakes due to their locations, making them the states with the most seismic activity.
Where are 95% of all earthquakes located?
Approximately 95% of all earthquakes occur around the edges of the Earth’s tectonic plates, known as the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is a seismic active area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where most of the Earth’s earthquakes and volcanic activity occur.
It is mainly a horseshoe-shaped region that follows the edges of the ocean from the coasts of North and South America, up along the western coast of the US, across to Japan and down towards the bottom of New Zealand.
This area is where several tectonic plates meet and grind together resulting in seismic activity. Earthquakes can also occur in the intra-plate areas, away from tectonic plate boundaries, but these are much less common.
Could a tsunami hit Illinois?
While it is possible for Illinois to experience some of the effects of a tsunami, it is highly unlikely that a tsunami would actually hit the state. The characteristic characteristics of a tsunami, including large, far-traveling ocean waves, require a large body of water with a shallow shelf nearby, neither of which exists in Illinois.
The closest bodies of water large enough to create a tsunami are the Great Lakes, and while the risk of a tsunami striking the Great Lakes is not zero, it is extremely low due to the deep water of the Great Lakes and the lack of a nearby shallow shelf.
Should people in Illinois worry about large earthquakes?
People in Illinois should be aware that large earthquakes can occur and should familiarize themselves with the precautions they should take in case they experience a strong tremor. While the risk of a large-magnitude earthquake occurring in Illinois is much lower than in other parts of the country, such as California, it is still something that should not be ignored.
The magnitude 5. 2 New Madrid earthquake in 1812 occurring in southern Illinois is the largest earthquake on record in the state and it still remains a potential seismic hazard today. The majority of earthquakes in Illinois are small and rarely noticed by people, but they can still cause damage in certain situations.
It is recommended that individuals in Illinois have an emergency plan in place should a large earthquake occur, such as having an emergency supply kit with supplies for 3-5 days and creating a plan for how family members and pets would evacuate the home should the need arise.
It is also a good idea to receive building inspection and education on how to reduce the possibility of earthquake-related damages in the event of a strong quake.
Where are fault lines in Illinois?
Fault lines in Illinois are primarily located in the northern and southern parts of the state, as well as in some of the southwestern sections. The largest fault lines are located along the New Madrid Fault System, which is centered around the town of New Madrid, located about 100 miles southeast of St.
Louis. This system extends for about 200 miles, from northwest Arkansas in the south, to Vilandra County in Kentucky in the north. Other fault lines in Illinois include the Mattoon- Franklinville Fault Zone, located in the southeastern part of the state, and the Wabash Valley Fault System, which runs from southeastern Illinois into southwestern Indiana.
Illinois is also home to several minor fault lines, although these are not considered to be as significant in terms of seismic activity.
Is Illinois on tectonic plates?
Yes, Illinois is located in the Midwest region of the United States and is situated within the interior of the North American Plate, which is one of the Earth’s eight major tectonic plates. The North American Plate, which Illinois is part of, stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and covers much of the continent and the midwestern states including Illinois.
Other tectonic plates outside of the North American Plate, including the Caribbean and smaller Juan de Fuca plates, come close to the border of Illinois, located to the south and southeast, but don’t actually come in contact with it.
Therefore, Illinois does not sit on top of any other tectonic plates and is mostly part of the North American Plate, which is the largest of the tectonic plates.
What major cities are on fault lines?
In the United States, cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle are all built on top of active fault lines. In Chile, the capital city of Santiago has several fault lines running underneath it.
In Japan, Tokyo and Osaka are two of the largest cities built on fault lines, while Yokohama is also located on a plate boundary zone. In Italy, Rome is built over several fault lines, along with much of the surrounding area.
Other cities around the world built on major fault lines include Mexico City in Mexico, Istanbul in Turkey, Manila in the Philippines, and Quito in Ecuador.
How do we know if your place is located in the fault line?
The most definitive way to know if your place is located in a fault line is to consult a professional geologist or earthquake engineer. They can examine the location, look at maps and analyze the seismic history of the area to determine if it is within a fault line.
Additionally, there are tools and websites available to aid people in identifying possible fault lines near them. These tools often include information on faults in the area, seismic hazard maps and tectonic plates.
The information may also include historical seismic events that have occurred near the location. Ultimately, only a professional can provide the most precise answer on whether your place is located in a fault line.
What fault line runs through southern Illinois?
The New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), a segment of the larger seismically active central United States seismic zone, runs through the southern part of Illinois, stretching from southeastern Missouri to northwestern Kentucky.
It is one of the nation’s most active earthquake zones and is responsible for several damaging earthquakes since the 1811–1812 New Madrid earthquakes. These quakes, the most powerful to strike in the eastern part of the US, were centered in what is now the town of New Madrid, Missouri, although effects were felt across the entire Mississippi Valley and were recorded as far away as New England.
The fault zone is actually made up of several segments that run in a northwest to southeast direction, including the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone and Reelfoot Rift.
This part of Illinois is relatively seismically active, with over 200 small earthquakes reported since 1974. Most of these quakes have been minor enough that they have gone basically unnoticed, but scientists predict that a significant earthquake could cause significant damage if it hits the area.
It is estimated that there is a operating 7 – 10 % likelihood of magnitude 6. 0 or greater earthquake occurring in the NMSZ in the next 50 years. The USGS states that an earthquake of that magnitude would have devastating consequences and could cause extensive damage throughout the region, including extensive damage to structures and the potential for widespread building and infrastructure collapses.