This morning we awoke to our very first earthquake!  We weren’t really aware of the seismic activity in Illinois, but apparently there are some moderately active fault lines here.  We’re in the Ozark Dome region that seems a moderate earthquake like what we had this morning every decade or so.  Mostly it just rattled all the glasses in my cabinets and made us think that our upstairs neighbors had taken up some even more annoying hobby.  I felt an aftershock here in my office on campus about 15 minutes ago. 

The earthquake occurred at 4:36AM about 140 miles south of us.  The google map below shows how you would drive to the earthquake location.   The USGS reports that it was 5.2 magnitude quake, but there wasn’t much damage.  There is a fault line south of us called the New Madrid zone that is much more active and has more powerful earthquakes.  This next little picture shows where the Ozark Dome boundaries are. 
The peak of the zone is just about where Champaign is, so i guess its not so unusual that we’d feel a few earthquakes now and then.  Here is a link to the USGS summary of our little quake: Illinois Quake April 18th, 2008.  The next (and last earth quake image is the shake map from the USGS.  You might have to clickon the map and see it in full size to actually see the detail.  Champaign didn’t see much shaking, but it was definitely enough to wake us up. 

I guess this is one natural disaster that i can mark off my list.  I always wanted to know what an earth quake felt like without anyone getting hurt and damage occurring.  I think i got my wish this morning.  I have to say, earthquakes are very disorienting since we generally consider the Earth to be so stationary.  I think my friend who lives in a taller apartment building felt it worse than we did. 

Just forgive any grumpy Illini this morning, we had a very early wake up call!


In other news, we loaded Danny’s poor old station wagon on to a truck this morning to go back to Texas.  I hope the Bug mobile has a very nice trip, we’ll miss that old car.  Bye bye Bug Mobile, we’ll see you in Texas in just a few weeks!


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