Earthquake reported in Anderson County, USGS says

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 9:19 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported an earthquake in Anderson County early Thursday morning.

The quake hit the Homeland Park area near Anderson around 2 a.m. It was a pretty weak earthquake of 2.1 magnitude but it was a shallow quake. Six people in the area reported feeling minor shaking.

Anderson earthquake
Anderson earthquake(Fox Carolina)

And we had another earthquake in the area this week. Saturday morning, another weak earthquake was recorded in Mitchell County, north of Spruce Pine. This earthquake was more than six meters deep so no one reported feeling it.

Mitchell County earthquake
Mitchell County earthquake(Fox Carolina)

It’s unusual to talk about earthquakes in the Upstate and Western North Carolina, but it’s not unheard of.

So far, in 2022, there have been seven earthquakes in the area: two in the Upstate and five in Western North Carolina. No earthquakes, though, in Northeast Georgia.

Earthquakes in the Western Carolinas
Earthquakes in the Western Carolinas(Fox Carolina)

All of the earthquakes have been minor, which is typical based off the type of faults we have in our area.

“Types of faults we have in South Carolina are what I would call relic faults. They’re ancient faults left over from the initial break-up of that super continent called Pangea and opening up of the Atlantic Ocean. So our faults are lines of weakness in the earth’s crust that just sort of sit there and they accumulate stress,” explains Scott White, Director of the South Carolina Seismic Network.

The faults have been very active this year with more than 80 earthquakes in South Carolina from January until August. Most of the activity has been in the Midlands.

South Carolina earthquakes
South Carolina earthquakes(Fox Carolina)

With the earthquake in Anderson County Thursday, some may be asking whether seismic activity is about to pick up in the Upstate.

“When you look back at our historical seismic records, and we do have that going back in the South Carolina Seismic Network for 30 to 40 years. You’re likely to, well those six people [who felt the Anderson earthquake], at least, are likely to feel another one sometime in the next 12 months or so,” White predicts.

Bottom line: don’t expect the Upstate and Western North Carolina to get a swarm of earthquakes anytime soon.

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