Remembering Douglas County Earthquake

What were you doing eight years ago at the end of April? Probably holding on for dear life. That’s when the last earthquake to rock Douglas County occurred.

It happened at 2:20 am on April 29, 2011.  I remember that morning, because I was up and fully alert, having gotten out of bed earlier than my usual 2:19 am wake-up time.  I was at the breakfast table and felt a slight wobble under my feet as I boogied down to Carol King’s ‘I Feel The Earth Move’ while polishing off the last of my four bowls of Quake cereal.

I immediately quit boogying down and thought, “Here I come, Elizabeth.  It’s the Big One.”

Actually, it was only a 2.5 magnitude tremor. Not quite the 6 and 7.0+ shakers that are plaguing California and other parts of the southwest.

Is this event affecting us?  University of Minnesota Morris geology professor Kent Brugger has said that any quake within the interior of North America could send out pulses that may cause fracturing of the crust in the Great Lakes Tectonic Zone.  Sounds like something a professor might say.  BTW, the GLTZ happens to be zoning right under our collective soles.

                        Pictured above: Great Lakes Tectonic Zone fault line in my driveway.

The largest earthquake in Minnesota hit Morris County in 1975. It measured 4.6 magnitude. The odds of a 5.0 earthquake happening in Douglas County within the next 50 years are…sorry, Richter scale fans…almost non-existent.  The experts put it at only .69%.

.69% Earthquake Odds Creepy Fun Fact: In 50 years it will be the year 2069.



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