What's up with all the seismic activity lately? - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

What's up with all the seismic activity lately?

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There has been 11 earthquakes in Lincoln just this past week. According to the Bureau of Mines and Geology, this year is almost 3 times as active as others.  Most quakes were small but, some were definitely noticeable.

Normally western Montana will see roughly a thousand small earthquakes every year. In order to understand why we have to step back and learn about where our seismic activity comes from.

“It’s the inter mountain seismic belt. It's a zone of seismic activity that passes through western Montana. From up in the flathead lake region, down through Helena and southward to the Yellowstone area,” says Mike Stickney

But what makes this year so active you might ask? Well, remember that 5.8 magnitude earthquake that happened in July.

“The Lincoln earthquake has had a vigorous aftershock sequence that has probably had, I'm estimating, 3,000 events since it occurred,” says Stickney.

Now, most of those earthquakes have gone unnoticed by residents in the Lincoln area. However, 37 of them in just the last month were a magnitude high enough for people to notice.

It's typically around the magnitude 3 when the ground shaking is strong enough in the epicentral area for people to notice an earthquake. Either feel a slight bit of ground motion or hear rumbling,” says Stickney.

The Bureau of Mines and Geology says this is nothing to be too concerned with as a number of aftershocks can be felt for years after a large earthquake like that which hit Lincoln.

They say that doesn’t mean we still couldn't be hit by another strong earthquake or aftershock in the future. As always if a strong earthquake does hit, find shelter under a desk, protect your head, and always have some supplies ready like non-perishable food and water.

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