ANN ARBOR, MI (WLNS) – Michigan rattled with shakes and unsteady ground on Saturday afternoon after a rare, 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck near Galesburg.
Eric Hetland, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, who studies earthquakes and seismology, explains how an earthquake occurs, starting at the crest of the Earth.
“A crack in relatively intact rock gets loaded with an amount of force and stress on it that it overcomes the resistance to it, and it suddenly very rapidly slips forward, releasing a large amount of energy,” said Eric Hetland, assistant professor, University of Michigan.
With the recent earthquakes in Nepal and California, Hetland says there’s no comparison with our quake on Saturday.
“Earthquakes in Michigan tend to be very, very rare, and tend to be fairly small. They will produce shaking, things may fall off shelves, but it’s unlikely that it would be, would cause shaking to a level where it’ll produce structural damage,” said Hetland.
He says it’s rare because of Michigan’s structure.
“In Michigan we have kind of these large piles of sediment and you just can’t support earthquakes in those. So they occur deeper down.”
According to Hetland a 4.2 magnitude earthquake is not very large, and Michigan is an area we do not need to be concerned about.
“If there is to be an aftershock, it will be significantly, significantly smaller magnitude than this one, causing significantly less shaking.”
According to U.S. Geological Survey there are no recorded aftershocks from Saturday’s earthquake.
Even though Saturday’s earthquake was small it was the strongest in Michigan since 1947.