It is very important to realize that, although North Carolina and the East Coast of the United States suffer from occasional earthquakes, this area is not a seismically active area like California and the West Coast. There are many active faults in California where large and damaging earthquakes often occur. FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Major earthquakes like the one that just hit Haiti are extremely rare in North Carolina, but researchers at the United States Geological Survey say mild ground tremors are far from rare in the Carolinas. There are thousands of fault lines in the eastern United States, with possibly hundreds in North and South Carolina.
One was found and named in the past year after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake in Sparta, North Carolina. The destruction caused by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Haiti will be studied for decades. USGS researchers say it's important to analyze every earthquake, even the smallest tremors that can't be felt. Since big earthquakes rarely hit the Carolinas, most of us may never feel the ground moving in our lives, but earthquakes can and do happen under our feet.
The western end of North Carolina is where you're most likely to encounter small earthquakes. USGS scientists say the area is part of the East Tennessee Seismic Zone. The border of that area came to life about a year ago. That's when the magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck Sparta, surprising even USGS researchers.
After the earthquake, a fault line of approximately 1.8 miles is still being studied and is now called the Little River Fault. Research is expected to one day lead to a system for predicting Earth movements before they occur. North Carolina experienced its second earthquake of at least 2.0 magnitude degrees in a week last Wednesday. The most recent coup in Catawba County, northwest of Charlotte.
There are thousands of fault lines in the eastern United States, and possibly hundreds in North and South Carolina. One was found and named last year after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake in Sparta, North Carolina.