It WAS an Earthquake

It’s confirmed: Saturday’s 12:00pm big boom was, in fact, an earthquake. WINA reports that a Virginia Tech seismologist has deemed Saturday’s Big Boom to be an earthquake that measured 3.2 on the Richter scale, slightly larger than our 1998 quake, which measured 2.8. The epicenter was located in Albemarle County.

19 Responses to “It WAS an Earthquake”


  • It’s your birthday, go Waldo, it’s your birthday!

    Ahem.

    I mean…um…it’s so gratifying to be proved correct.

    Yeah.

  • sorry don’t I just dont buy it-yet. The boom with no shaking or reverb. Just because a Va Tech guy says it so isn’t enough for me. By the way where is the link?

    This seems like such a classic sonic boom. Could someone help with links to earthquakes that fit this profile- I will freely admit I have no earthquake experience

  • This isn’t just “a Va Tech guy,” it’s a professional seismologist employed by VT. The link is where it says “WINA reports.” Having experienced an identical earthquake in 1998 (the 2.8 that we had), let me assure you that it was an earthquake. (He said, now that a seismologist had confirmed it. :)

  • I still heard no boom, just felt the earth moving for 10-20 seconds… Waldo is right, he should be dancin’ the cabbage patch around all of you ‘sonic boom’ faithfull fellows.

    I expressed my opinion sat. afternoon to a cowroker that it was an earthquake and some yahoo from Cali. said we were in VA and don’t have earthquakes and that since we’ve never experienced such a phenomenon (which show his ignorance of VA in general) we shouldn’t trust our gut instinct that it was an earthquake

  • sorry about the link question. When I search the va tech earthquake site I show no mention of theis new one. and on this site http://folkworm.ceri.memphis.edu/recenteqs/
    no Va quake. So stop dancing Waldo and link me to the real deal. WINA is no longer the final word on truth…or justice and the American way either.

  • Ah, I understand; sorry about that. See this:

    http://www.geol.vt.edu/outreach/vtso/heli/GIF/BLA_EHZ_SE.2001092212.gif

    To be fair, I have no real idea of how to interpret this graph, this is just something that I found on VT’s site earlier, under the listing for the first half of 09/22/01.

  • I’ve experienced earthquakes before, and I never heard a loud bang at the beginning. So after seeing this report that it was an earthquake, I looked into it. This is what I found:

    “If you are near the source of an earthquake, expect a loud bang followed by shaking. If you are farther away, the first warning may be a sudden noise, roar or swaying of the building you are in. Next, you will feel shaking, quickly followed by a rolling motion that rotates up, down and sideways.”

    I’ve experienced everything but the loud bang before. I guess the earthquake was right under my feet.

    I’m not completely convinced that it wasn’t an earthquake picked up by the USGS but caused by something else. We keep an eye out for nuclear testing with a worldwide set of seismographs for example. And unusually loud sonic booms are picked up as well. We’ve even had meteors exploding high in the atmosphere cause earthquakes to be detected.

    As for this whole war thing that made us so jumpy about this in the first place, as usual I think the onion says it best:

    http://www.theonion.com/onion3412/enemytryouts.html

  • I was out walking with my wife and son when it happened. The earth definitely shook on Fairway Avenue . There was also a loud thunder-like roar. I ran home and called the police information number and they told me it was a sonic boom. At first I thought the big round gas tank (or whatever it is) near the sewage treatment had exploded. I’d like to know where in Albemarle County the epi-center was. It felt like it was right under my feet.

    Kevin Cox

  • Bring on the conspiracy theorists!

  • I’d like to know where in Albemarle County the epi-center was. It felt like it was right under my feet.

    That really is the only major piece of information missing here. The ’98 one was centered in Free Union, so I can only assume that it was there. (After all, how many active faults can one Virginia county have? :)

    I’m still hoping that somebody will track down a seismologist from UVa and get them to start posting on cvillenews.com. Anyone?

  • Rednecks have the bomb!

  • I grew up in the S.F. Bay Area and I know very well what earthquakes feel like. There is more than one kind. Most people (especially folks from L.A.) are more familiar with the “rolling” kind, where you feel the ground undulating beneath you. Less dramatic are the sharp, short, jolting ones that, if you’re not paying attention, feel like a truck just hit your house.

    I live near the University and was outside with my kids at noon on Sunday when I felt the jolt and my first thought was “earthquake!” However, we live near some railroad tracks, so I just convinced myself that it was a train coupling.

    It wasn’t until I was talking to Waldo last night that I found out that some people had reported a “boom“, which I had not heard. Interestingly, I was video taping during the event. I looked at the video tape last night and here is what I saw:

    I was outside playing with the kids, I felt a sharp jolt and looked around for the truck, my daughter stopped and asked “what was that?” and my dog started going nuts. There was no obvious “boom“.

    If the quake was centered in Albemarle, I am not surprised that people out there would have heard a sound. Feeling it, but not hearing it several miles away is perfectly consistent with my experience of these kinds of quakes.

  • I live in town, and felt/heard it on Saturday. Scared the cats. However, checked w/a co-worker yesterday who lives in Free Union, and she knew nothing of it. Might not be centered in Free Union, then… but where?

    I used to live in Westchester County, NY, and we also had some small faults in the area that produced occasional ignorable earthquakes. I slept thru them all, much to my mother’s amusement. However, goes to show that CA doesn’t have the market cornered on earthshaking!

    -nif

  • It was saturday, not sunday. Perhaps a truck did hit your house.

    My cats went crazy too. They slammed into several walls in their mad dash to get outside.

  • Heh. As proof goes it’s still fairly light. I still want to see someone who isn’t passing on hearsay.

    Still, the explanation of a shallow earthquake more accurately explains the experience I had in Bodo’s… so I’ll adopt it as my favorite theory.

    Good call.

  • My coworker, who lives in Free Union and was at home at noon on Saturday, says they heard/felt nothing out there.

  • Sorry, quite right, it was Saturday that all this happened (and I “taped” it, not “tpaed” it…)

  • The epicenter of the earthquake was near Shadwell.

  • OK OK Now I buy it!

    Go Waldo it’s your birthday

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