Today’s magnitude-4.0 Lake Erie earthquake: U-M expert available

June 10, 2019
Contact: Jim Erickson ericksn@umich.edu

EXPERTS ADVISORY

Seismogram of the June 10 magnitude-4.0 Lake Erie earthquake, recorded at the University of Michigan seismic station in Ann Arbor. Image credit: University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR—A magnitude-4.0 earthquake occurred beneath Lake Erie this morning, just off the shoreline of northeastern Ohio and about 20 miles northeast of Cleveland, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A University of Michigan geophysicist is available to discuss Lake Erie earthquakes.

Yihe Huang is a U-M geophysicist who recently established a network of seismometers around Lake Erie to study earthquakes there. The project is called LEEP for Lake Erie Earthquake exPeriment, and it currently includes eight seismometers at various points around the lake.

“Our LEEP project is motivated by the observation of occasional small earthquakes around Lake Erie,” Huang said. “We’d like to know whether these earthquakes are triggered by the weight of the lake water on nearby faults. If so, how large can these earthquakes be?

“This project requires us to deploy seismometers in quiet areas, such as farms, to record earthquake signals. It’s like recording music—it’s better to do it in a quiet room.”

Today’s magnitude-4 earthquake is the largest in this area for the past 20 years or so, Huang said. Roughly 20 miles away from the site of today’s event, a magnitude-5 earthquake hit the region in 1986.

“I’m sure our seismometers detected this event, given its large magnitude. But we haven’t retrieved the data yet,” said Huang, an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. “The LEEP stations will probably give more details about the event and the fault where it occurred.”

Contact: yiheh@umich.edu, 626-379-1282