Small Earthquake Shakes Tennessee Valley - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Small Earthquake Shakes Tennessee Valley

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Update: Monday, 5:25 p.m.

Lauren Brown
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Sunday was a first for a lot of people in the Channel 3 viewing area.  An earthquake shook the ground in Bradley County and rattled people miles away.

The epicenter of the small earthquake was near the intersection of the 64 bypass and Spring Place road in Bradley County.

It may have been a small earthquake that hit in Cleveland, but it was felt for miles.  People in Georgia and North Chattanooga even felt it.

"It felt like something erupted underneath my house." said Krista Kaspar.

Krista Kaspar thought the tremors were coming from her dog Boone, who she thought was under the table. Turns out he wasn't.

"The dog came running from the bedroom and he was going [whimpering noise] and growling and he was a little upset by it. I was like 'did the water main just erupt underneath my house? please tell me no, I don't have time for that,'" said Kaspar.

There was no water main break, but there was an earthquake.

"It was kind of cool. As long as nothing breaks or nothing cracks in the house, it's fine with me. My table was shaking pretty good. It's why I thought the dog was in there, because it was moving like that," said Kaspar.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in Bradley County, with a magnitude of 3.0.

"When those points of weakness get stressed they'll reach a point where they can't take anymore, and they'll break loose," said Dr. Ann Holmes, UTC Geologist.

Holmes is talking about underground, who says the fault line in our area has become more active in the past 50 years.

"This fault that we felt the other day and the one in Ft. Payne was called a Dextral slip, straight slip fault and it moves like that," said Dr. Holmes.

Sending tremors like the ones felt Sunday afternoon.

Holmes says while it's hard to predict earthquakes, we shouldn't be worried about "the big one."

"To me, as long as you're having a few earthquakes, you're releasing the strain. The stress is being released from the rocks; sort of a good thing if we have little earthquakes," said Holmes.

There were three earthquakes on Sunday. The first 3.0 being around noon and the second happened around 8:30 p.m. That was a 2.0.  The final quake was the smallest; a 1.5 around 10:10 p.m. In the same area.

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Associated Press - November 2, 2009 11:55 AM ET

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The U.S. Geological Survey reports three small earthquakes within hours of each other in East Tennessee, including a magnitude 3.0 earthquake that shook enough for people to notice Sunday.

USGS spokeswoman Tish Tuttle said records show 27 people called about the magnitude 3.0 earthquake that was recorded just after 5 p.m. EST Sunday near Cleveland.

Tuttle said Monday from the USGS office in Memphis, Tenn., that there were two smaller earthquakes early Monday in the same area of the East Tennessee Seismic Zone, a magnitude 1.5 and a magnitude 2.0.

She said the small earthquakes are common.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sunday, 4:45 p.m.

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -  A small earthquake shook part of the Tennessee Valley Sunday.

The epicenter was in Bradley County, near the intersection of the 64 bypass and Spring Place Road.

The 3.0 magnitude quake was barely felt, and there have been no reports of damage.

Exactly 3 months ago on August first, there was a similar sized quake in Polk County.

This entire area is part of the East Tennessee Seismic Zone, which is one of the most active in the Southeast. The largest known quake occurred on April 29, 2003 near Fort Payne, Ala. It had a magnitude of 4.6 and did slight damage.

The Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone is laced with known faults but numerous smaller or deeply buried faults remain undetected.

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