Explore north Carolina"s historic Earthquake Events and Recent Earthquake events by clicking on the Map Below.

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North Carolina has its re-superstructure of earthquakes, but large, damaging seismic events are infrequent in our state. Together you can see native the earthquake map, these seismic occasions originate in our state and surrounding claims (fig. 24).


Circles and also squares represent earthquake epicenters and bigger symbols represent bigger magnitude earthquakes. The results of an earthquake sheathe a much bigger area than the location of the period or epicenter.

The long cluster that circles extending from Tennessee v the edge of western phibìc Carolina right into northern Georgia is known as the east Tennessee seismic zone, or earthquake zone. Researchers are examining this area to determine why so many earthquakes happen here. There are also tiny clusters of earthquakes in other areas of the southeast. Top top Dec. 9, 2003, a 4.5 size earthquake near Richmond, Va., was felt in areas of Raleigh. This earthquake emerged in the main Virginia seismic zone. The 1886 Charleston earthquake occurred in the Charleston, S.C., seismic zone. That is really important to realize that even though north Carolina and also the east coastline of the United claims experiegendergeek.orge occasional earthquakes, this area is not a seismically active area favor California and the West Coast. In California there room many energetic faults wherein large, damaging earthquakes happen frequently. In contrast, there space no active fault area in phibìc Carolina. Earthquakes are much more frequent in the western part of our state, however statewide lock are fairly small, random and scattered events.

Scientists use assorted scales to identify the toughness of one earthquake (fig. 25).


Two that those scales room the magnitude Scale and also the modification Mercalli strongness Scale. The Magnitude scale is an attempt to measure just how much energy was exit by the earthquake and is the number the most human being associate through an earthquake, for instagendergeek.orge “magnitude 3.” The modification Mercalli strongness Scale describes how earthquakes “feel” and also how much damage the earthquake causes. This scale has actually twelve level designated by roman inn numerals ns – XII (one through twelve), to indicate the quantity of damage felt by the earthquake. Countless factors identify the intensity of one earthquake in ~ the surface of the earth, such as the depth where the earthquake originates and also what kinds of rock and soil space at the surface.

There have been a couple of strong earthquakes in our mountain an ar in the last 100 years. As referegendergeek.orged in the United says Geological inspection Professional paper 1527, in 1916 there was a magnitude 5.2 earthquake, v an intensity of VII (7) on the modification Mercalli intensity Scale, near Skyland in Bugendergeek.orgombe ar (fig. 26).


Damage explanation from the earthquake igendergeek.orgorporate “Chimneys to be thrown come the ground, windowpanes cracked and people rushed right into the streets.” The amendment Mercalli map that intensity reflects how much the impacts of the 1916 earthquake were felt (fig. 26).

In 1886 there was a big earthquake centered in Charleston, S.C. That was estimated to be a magnitude 6.7, with an soot of X (10) top top the modification Mercalli Intensity scale (fig. 27).


Figure 27: The modification Mercalli map that the 1886 earthquake centered in Charleston, S.C. This earthquake to be “felt” in a much bigger area 보다 the 1916 earthquake (fig. 26). An isoseismal map indicates locations of same (iso) shiver (seismicity). Modified native USGS Professional paper 1527. 

This earthquake was felt up and also down the east Coast and throughout the Midwest. It to be the most damaging earthquake in the Southeast and one the the largest earthquakes in the east United claims in historic times. To compare the area influegendergeek.orged by the Charleston earthquake come the area covered by the 1916 phibìc Carolina earthquake. Here in north Carolina the results of the Charleston 1886 earthquake ranged native a V (5) to VII (7) top top the modified Mercalli intensity Scale. Earthquakes happen every day around the world. We do not hear around most of lock in the news sigendergeek.orge they are little or lock shake isolated locations where few people live.

Things to consider:Although strong earthquakes below in north Carolina room infrequent, proper construction techniques need to be followed. One earthquake of size 5 or greater could block major transportation routes in the mountains and also cause structural damage elsewhere.

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How this affect you:Many of the bigger earthquakes in phibìc Carolina developed when the state was more rural. Recent development igendergeek.orgludes buildings and also infrastructure such as road and also power networks. Contemporary building password take into account the possibility of one earthquake yet many older buildings were not created to withstand violent shaking.