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Did you feel it? Magnitude 2.4 quake reported near Dalton, Georgia

It wasn't big, but it did pop up on USGS seismographs.

DALTON, Ga. — Residents up in north Georgia may have felt a little shake if they were paying attention on Wednesday night.

The United States Geological Survey confirmed a seismic reading of about 2.4 outside the city of Dalton around 8 p.m. The epicenter of the apparent quake was north of Bethel Church Road between Yonder Way and Stacy Road.

Authorities with Whitfield County 911 Dispatch confirmed that they were informed of the readings by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency but hadn't received any reports from residents - either of feeling the possible quake or experiencing damage - as of about 8:30 p.m.

While the area is not a total stranger to earthquakes - north Georgia can experience occasional earthquakes in the low one and two magnitudes - this particular earthquake shows a depth of 7.6 kilometers. 

Not too far away, early on Thursday, a 1.3 magnitude earthquake was recorded near Madisonville, Tenn. That was shows a depth of 17.2 kilometers. 

Emergency officials said they had received no reports at the time of any surface-level incidents - like explosions - that could have triggered the reading.

It's also worth pointing out that a Magnitude 2.4 is in the very low ranks on the Moment Magnitude Scale (it replaced the Richter Scale) with each higher number having 10 times the amplitude of the number below it - and releasing much more energy.

Generally, earthquakes or readings below a Magnitude 2.5 aren't felt but are strong enough to record on a seismograph. MichiganTech's UPSeis reports that there are about 900,000 such earthquakes around the world each year.

Credit: USGS Earthquake Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
Shown is a plot of seismic activity in the region between April 2004 and April 2019. You can see a diffuse seismic zone running across three states, cutting across North Georgia (named Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone).


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