2010 Central Canada earthquake

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2010 Central Canada earthquake
2010 Central Canada earthquake is located in Quebec
Montreal
Montreal
Ottawa
Ottawa
2010 Central Canada earthquake
Date 23 June 2010 (2010-06-23)
Origin time 17:41:41 UTC
1:41:41 pm EDT
Duration 30 seconds
Magnitude 5.0 Mw
Depth 16.4 km (10 mi)
Epicenter 45°54′14″N 75°29′49″W / 45.904°N 75.497°W / 45.904; -75.497Coordinates: 45°54′14″N 75°29′49″W / 45.904°N 75.497°W / 45.904; -75.497
Countries or regions Canada, United States
Max. intensity Mercalli VI
Casualties No fatalities[1]

The 2010 Central Canada earthquake occurred with a moment magnitude of 5.0 in Central Canada on 23 June at about 13:41:41 EDT and lasted about 30 seconds.[2][3] The epicentre was situated in the area of Buckingham, Quebec, approximately 56 kilometres (35 mi) north of Ottawa, Ontario,[4] closest to the settlement of Val-des-Bois, Quebec.[5] Canada's capital, Ottawa, declared this earthquake as being its most powerful in 65 years.[6]

It was felt across most of Ontario[7] and Quebec, as well as parts of the northeastern United States,[8][9][10][11][12] in addition to places as far as Chicago,[13] Pittsburgh,[14] Baltimore, Charleston, West Virginia, and Halifax.[15] It was the first moderate earthquake associated with the Western Quebec Seismic Zone since 20 April 2002, when the area was affected by magnitude 5.1 Mw tremors.[16][17][18] Southern Ontario was also affected by the 1998 magnitude 5.2 Mw Pymatuning earthquake, associated with a different seismic region (Southern Great Lakes Seismic Zone).[19][20]

Although a 5.0 magnitude quake is only considered to be moderate, the earthquake's depth (estimates of which vary between 16.4 kilometres (10.2 mi) and 19.0 kilometres (11.8 mi))[16][21][22] meant that its effects were more widely felt.[23]

Geology[edit]

USGS ShakeMap for the event

The magnitude 5.0 Mw intraplate earthquake occurred near the southern edge of the Western Quebec Seismic Zone, known for frequent, but minor tremors, occurring, on average, every five days.[16][24] Far away from the North American tectonic plate's margin, the regional seismicity is controlled by a series of geologic faults formed over the last billion years by the processes of mountain building, including the Grenville orogeny, and subsequent erosion. The processes causing the earthquakes in the zone are not well understood: the tremors are not linked to particular seismogenic structures, nor are the sources of stress definitively identified.[25][26] The initial focal mechanism of the 2010 earthquake suggests reverse faulting on a fault trending southeast-northwest. However, the size and depth of this earthquake make it uncertain whether the causative fault can be identified.[27]

Earthquakes of magnitude 4.5 or greater are fairly infrequent in the area, occurring at a rate of a few per decade. Some studies suggest, however, that larger earthquakes of magnitude around 7 may have occurred 4550 and 7060 years BP.[28]

Earthquake[edit]

The Globe and Mail reported that "Twitter users as distant as Springfield, Massachusetts, Traverse City, Michigan, and Cincinnati, Ohio reported feeling tremors."[2] The blogosphere and other social media sites like Facebook were swamped by posts referring to the "2010 Ottawa earthquake" or the "2010 Toronto earthquake".[29] Places all the way southward to New Jersey reported a disruptive tremor.

This earthquake occurred as Canadian environment minister Jim Prentice was conducting an interview in Ottawa, and he reported that his chair started to move.[30] The offices of The Globe and Mail were evacuated soon after the tremor.[2] Several media outlets also aired video of a press conference by New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Don Davies being disrupted by the quake.[31]

Damage[edit]

Office building evacuation in Ottawa

Part of Quebec Route 307 was closed due to a partial bridge collapse near Bowman that injured a nearby fisherman.[32] Near the epicentre, many of the telephone networks were out. The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board evacuated most of its schools, but students were allowed to return when the situation was determined to be safe. A number of schools were damaged, including First Avenue Public School, Churchill Alternative School, Blossom Park Public School, Centennial Public School, Connaught Public School, Elgin Street Public School and Hilson Avenue Public School.[33] In Gracefield, Quebec, a state of emergency was declared after several buildings were damaged, including the church, some of the city's administration buildings and a hotel.[33] In the Outaouais, about 1,300 homes lost power.[32] The O-Train in Ottawa was shut down until 5 pm, and the Agence métropolitaine de transport shut down four of five commuter trains in Montreal for a similar period of time in order for lines to be inspected.[33]

Immediately after the quake, cell phone service in Ottawa was down, possibly overloaded by callers.[34] Several windows in Ottawa City Hall shattered, and a chimney in a nearby solicitors' office collapsed.[33] Minor damages were also reported to several city-owned facilities, including two branches of the Ottawa Public Library and two municipal sports arenas, and power was out in part of the downtown Golden Triangle neighbourhood.[35] Office buildings in Ottawa and Toronto were evacuated, and cracks appeared in the Parliamentary Press Gallery building on Parliament Hill.[36] A session of the Canadian Senate was also interrupted,[37] leading to an unprecedented session of the Senate outside on the front lawn of Parliament Hill, in order that a formal adjournment for the day could take place.[38] No serious damages or injuries have been reported.[36] In Toronto, Toronto Transit Commission and GO Transit service was uninterrupted, while eastbound Via Rail trains were significantly delayed.[3]

Aftershocks[edit]

On 16 March 2011, a magnitude 3.7[39] or 4.3[40] possible aftershock struck Hawkesbury, Ontario, on the Ottawa River Valley and southwest of the initial magnitude 5.0 epicentre. It was felt in places including Ottawa, Montreal and St. Albans, VT.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Earthquake hits Central Canada". The Province, division of Canwest Publishing. Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "Earthquake shakes central Canada". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Earthquakes shakes Ontario and Quebec". Toronto Star. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Magnitude 5.0 – ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA". USGS. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Earthquake hits Central Canada". Vancouver Sun. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Andrew Duffy and Neil Cockburn (25 June 2010). "Federal, city staff review quake response". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 25 June 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Quake shakes Ontarians". Northern News. 25 June 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Earthquake". Raise the Hammer. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "Mich. feels shake of 5.0 quake in Canada". WDIV-TV. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Magnitude-5.0 Earthquake Felt In Pittsburgh Area". WPXI Pittsburgh. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  11. ^ Donaldson, Stan (23 June 2010). "Canadian earthquake sends tremors through Cleveland, swaying buildings and rattling nerves". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio). Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Canada Earthquake Felt In NH". WMUR New Hampshire. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Canadian Quake Felt in Chicago". NBC Chicago. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  14. ^ Hamill, Sean D.; Roddy, Dennis B. (23 June 2010). "Canada-centered earthquake felt in Western Pa. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  15. ^ Earthquakes, USGS. "M5.0–Ontario-Quebec Border Region, Canada – Did You Feel It?". United States Geological Survey. Earthquake Hazards Program. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c "Magnitude 5.0 – ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA". United States Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Historical earthquakes magnitude 5.0 and larger". Natural Resources Canada. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Magnitude 5.1 Au Sable Forks, New York". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  19. ^ "Earthquake shakes Ontario and Quebec". The Toronto Star. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  20. ^ "Magnitude 5.2 Pennsylvania 1998 September 25 19:52:52 UTC". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  21. ^ "Earthquake of 5.0 magnitude hits Ontario, Quebec". CTV News. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  22. ^ MacMillan, Jen (23 June 2010). "Geologists answer questions on today’s quake". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  23. ^ "The Great Canada-Michigan-New York City Earthquake". TIME Magazine. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  24. ^ "Earthquake zones in Eastern Canada". Natural Resources Canada. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  25. ^ Forsyth, D.A. (1981). "Characteristics of the western Quebec seismic zone". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 18 (1): 103–119. Bibcode:1981CaJES..18..103F. doi:10.1139/e81-009. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  26. ^ Ma, Shutian; David W. Eaton (2007). "Western Quebec seismic zone (Canada): Clustered, midcrustal seismicity along a Mesozoic hot spot track". Journal of Geophysical Research 112 (6): 1–16. Bibcode:2007JGRB..11206305M. doi:10.1029/2006JB004827. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  27. ^ "Poster of the Ontario-Quebec border region, Canada Earthquake of 23 June 2010 – Magnitude 5.0". United States Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  28. ^ Aylsworth, J.M.; D.E. Lawrence and J. Guertin (2000). "Did two massive earthquakes in the Holocene induce widespread landsliding and near-surface deformation in part of the Ottawa Valley, Canada?". Geology 28 (10): 903–906. Bibcode:2000Geo....28..903A. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2000)28<903:DTMEIT>2.0.CO;2. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  29. ^ Shannon Proudfoot (June 23, 2010). "Buttons, T-shirts and a Facebook group: Quake's tremors felt online". Canwest News Service. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Earthquake hits central Canada". CTVnews. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  31. ^ Aaron Wherry, "In case you were wondering...". Maclean's, 23 June 2010.
  32. ^ a b "Tremblement de terre au Québec" (in French). LCN. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  33. ^ a b c d "Quebec quake damages buildings, highway". CBC Ottawa. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  34. ^ Aulakh, Raveena (23 June 2010). "Earthquake rumbles Ontario and Quebec". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  35. ^ "5.0 Val-des-Bois quake rattles Ottawa, eastern North America". Ottawa Citizen, 23 June 2010.
  36. ^ a b "5.5-Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Canada". FOX News. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  37. ^ "Earthquake of 5.0 shakes Ontario and Quebec". Yahoo! news. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. [dead link]
  38. ^ Aura Payton, Brian Lilley, and Bryn Weese (23 June 2010). "Earthquake sends senators outside". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  39. ^ Earthquakes, USGS. "Magnitude 3.7 – ONTARIO-QUEBEC BORDER REGION, CANADA". United States Geological Survey. Earthquake Hazards Program. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  40. ^ Citizen, Ottawa (16 March 2011). "Small earthquake wobbles eastern Ontario, west Quebec". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  41. ^ Earthquakes, USGS. "DYFI Historical Events". United States Geological Survey. Did You Feel It?. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 

External links[edit]