Monday’s 4.6ML earthquake largest Central Alberta has experienced

Taimi Mulder, a seismologist, says largest earthquakes in the Sylvan Lake area are around 3.8ML

The 4.6 magnitude earthquake felt in Central Alberta Monday morning is the largest the area has ever experienced, according to seismologists.

Taimi Mulder, an earthquake seismologists with the Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, says the quake was slightly larger than the area has seen.

Normally earthquakes that sit on the higher end of the scale for Central Alberta are around 3.8-4 on the Richter scale.

“We are still classifying this as a light earthquake, but it does seem to be the largest to hit the area,” said Mulder.

READ MORE: Earthquake in Sylvan Lake area leads to blackout

A light earthquake is usually classified in the Magnitude 4 range. In this magnitude, Mulder says there will be shaking and often a loud boom.

However, the event normally doesn’t last long.

“At this range it is usually over pretty quickly, and most people will experience a shock, and are often a bit frightened.”

Normally with a light earthquake, damage and injuries do not occur.

Earthquakes at a Magnitude 3 are considered a minor event, while Magnitude 5 quakes are referred to as a moderate event.

Mulder said the event is still being investigated, but it does not appear to be caused by fracking in the area.

The cause is believed to be from tectonic movement along the Rocky Mountains.

While Central Alberta is a distance away from a fault line, quakes still occur every few years.

“It is very unusual, but not unheard of to have an earthquake in the area,” Mulder said adding, “Normally we see more activity in larger centres such as Calgary, Edmonton or Banff.”

Mulder says the Sylvan Lake area is within those areas that see earthquake more frequently. She said the stress from the fault lines can often be felts a ways away.

“The stress still propagates out.”

The last quake felt in Central Alberta was on Aug. 9, 2014 and was a 3.8 magnitude quake.

The one experienced in 2014 was centralized just west of the March 4 quake which is believed to have been located just south of Sylvan Lake. The area tends to experience an earthquake every three to five years, according to Mulder.

Mulder says another quake is not expected to occur following the Monday morning shock.

“We are still looking into this, but it doesn’t look like there is a danger of any more earthquakes happening after this morning.”

The quake was relatively centralized. Reports say the shock could be felt in Red Deer, Lacombe, Blackfalds, Eckville, Penhold and as far north as Gull Lake.


Follow Megan Roth on Twitter

@MeganSLN
megan.roth@sylvanlakenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

No changes to photo radar program: City of Wetaskiwin

Provincial government says some munipalities abusing photo radar for revenue

Pigeon Lake gold medal

Pigeon Lake Panthers Senior Girls basketball team take top medal

Lane-splitting for motorcycles should be legal in Alberta

More tools needed to protect cyclists’ lives from motorists

County of Wetaskiwin renews summer village firefighting agreements

Summer villages pay retainer and per-hour fees, hears council

Massive fire at Wetaskiwin’s Rose Country Inn

Multiple fire departments involved, building badly damaged

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Calgary woman convicted in son’s strep death seeking full parole

The trial heard that Ryan was dead well before his mother called 911 to say he had stopped breathing

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Here are five political leaders campaigning in Alberta’s spring election

Rachel Notley, Jason Kenney, Stephen Mandel, David Khan, and Derek Fildebrandt

Fought to unite Alberta conservatives: Former MP Kenney ready to run for premier

Kenney, 50, was born in Oakville, Ont., raised in Saskatchewan, and spent his adult years in Alberta

Most Read