Earthquake Activity in Maine Calms After Busy Start to Year With Many Quakes
Maine earthquake activity calmed down over the weekend after a busy start to the new year with many tremors. Twelve earthquakes have rattled parts of Maine so far this month, with most seismic activity concentrated over Rainbow Lake northwest of Millinocket and the others south and east of Bangor. Two tremors also occurred just offshore between the coastal communities of Bristol and Saint George. The last earthquake in Maine happened early Saturday morning, and there have been no others since.
The strongest of the group’s earthquakes that month was a magnitude 3.3 quake that struck outside of Dedham, east of Augusta. This earthquake, which occurred on the morning of January 14, resulted in more than 140 tremor reports to the USGS over their “Did you feel it?” question. reporting tool on their earthquake website. According to the USGS, the event was rated IV(4) on a Roman scale of earthquake tremor intensity from I(1) to X(10). USGS considered an IV earthquake a mild shake but no damage.
Most of the other earthquakes that struck Maine from January 5 to 13 were mild events, ranging in magnitude from 1.6 to 2.0.
While Maine isn’t famous for its earthquakes, it does get them from time to time. This past winter/spring, the state was also hit by several earthquakes. On April 2, 2022, a magnitude 2.0 earthquake struck about 7 miles southeast of Waterville, near the Winslow-China city line. On March 8, a magnitude 2.1 earthquake struck about 2 miles north of Tunk Lake in eastern Hancock County. On February 12, a magnitude 2.4 earthquake struck 12 miles west of Houlton; Some locals reported that they were shaking at the time. On February 4, a magnitude 2.9 event was widely felt in the Bethel area of western Maine, 8 miles from the epicenter in Gorham, New Hampshire. People as far as 25 miles from the epicenter of this earthquake felt it in Maine. Two magnitude 2.0 earthquakes on January 17; one was 2 miles west of Springvale, the other was about 1/2 mile south of Springvale.
The strongest earthquake to strike Maine in the past 10 years was a magnitude 4.5 event on October 16, 2012 in East Waterboro, about 13 miles northwest of Saco.
According to the Maine Geological Survey with the Department of Conservation, seismic activity in Maine is typical of the Appalachian region of northeastern North America. “There is a low but steady frequency of earthquakes,” they report, adding that “the earthquakes are thought to be caused by modern stress occasionally released along weak points in the Earth’s crust, but a more specific cause of the earthquake activity is.” not known.”