WDTN: How rare are earthquakes in Ohio?

UC geologist puts recent temblor into perspective

University of Cincinnati geologist Daniel Sturmer helped WDTN-2 News put a recent earthquake in Ohio into historical perspective.

The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that a magnitude 3.6 earthquake was detected at 11 p.m. Sunday in Lake County, Ohio, just northeast of Cleveland. An aftershock caused tremors about 15 minutes later.

The tremors were enough to rattle windows and shake traffic cameras, WDTN reported.

Ohio's faults are buried deep beneath glacial till and sedimentary rock, seismologist Jeff Fox told WDTN. A relatively small earthquake in Ohio can often be felt in neighboring states, said Sturmer, an associate professor of geoscience in UC's College of Arts and Sciences.

“Those waves kind of have more juice,” Sturmer said. “They travel a little farther in Ohio because there are fewer faults and because the crust is cooler. You have an equivalent earthquake in Los Angeles and it wouldn’t be felt across L.A., probably.”

Earthquakes are are relatively rare in Ohio. Dayton has had just three reported quakes since the 1700s, WDTN reported.

Watch the WDTN report.

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