Nine days ago, a 3.3 Richter scale magnitude Earthquake struck Eastern Connecticut near the town of Wauregan and near the Rhode Island border early in the morning. I’m sure this came as quite a shock to people there. I think the first earthquake, even if it is relatively minor, is the scariest. I remember the 1971 Sylmar Earthquake here in California. It felt as if the world had turned into a bowl of Jello.
According to this Associated Press story, John Ebel of the Western Observatory said that small earthquakes in the Northeast were not unusual. This earthquake came on a tectonic plate that stretches from the West Coast to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Actually, this is news to me. Many people in New England were surprised and shocked as well. Local police in Plainfield reported that they received over 200 phone calls to 911 that morning, but there were no reports of damage or injury. Some people speculated about gas and oil fracking as the cause of the earthquakes, but geologists reminded people that no oil and gas drilling or fracking is likely or economically feasible in Connecticut in the near future.
I doubt that oil and gas fracking has much to do with earthquakes. Plate tectonics is still the best and most likely explanation for earthquakes and volcanos. We are seeing an upsurge around the world in this activity.