Expert Says There's Nothing Shocking About Deep River Earthquake

Aug 15, 2014

Residents of Deep River were awakened by an earthquake this week. The 2.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded at about 3:09 am Thursday morning. Residents said they heard a loud boom, and their houses briefly shook. No injuries or damage were reported.

According to the U.S. Geological survey, the earthquake's epicenter was located in the southwest section of Deep River, in an part of the state known for frequent seismic activity.

Vernon Cormier, a professor of Geophysics, and head of the seismic station at the University of Connecticut, said earthquakes have been reported in and near Deep River since colonial times. "There will be swarm activity with many small earthquakes occurring over weeks and months occasionally, sporadically, and occasionally there will be a larger event that shakes things up quite dramatically," he said.

Cormier said there's a good reason why the area surrounding Thursday's earthquake is susceptible to seismic activity. "Generally," he said, "the region around the Connecticut River Valley is close to an ancient faulted rift system that was triggered back when our continent last split apart from Africa."

A 2.7 magnitude earthquake is considered a minor earthquake. New England experiences about two minor earthquakes a year, although a 5.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded in central New Hampshire in 1940.