The USGS reports a 6.0 earthquake at 8:57 AM Central Time thismorning in the Gulf of Mexico. The quake took place in anarea not normally associated with earthquake activity, andis one of the strongest quakes ever recorded in the Gulf. Residents along the Louisana and Florida gulf coasts felt the tremor, but no damage was reported as the quake's intensity had declined to around 3.0 on the Richter Scale by the time it reached land. There are numerous Quaternary Faults along the US GulfCoast, but they are not believed to have producedsubstantial earthquake activity for nearly two millionyears. However, as long ago as 2002, geologists have beentheorizing that gulf quake activity could resume and be awarning of more substantial quakes to come, especially alongthe New Madrid Fault in the central U.S. A 5.0 quake, notfelt on land, was recorded in the same area of the gulf onFebruary 10.
Because of its location, the quake did not result in atsunami, but such an event is theoretically possibleanywhere along the Texas and Louisiana coasts, which displaythe type of long, shallow descents to far-offshore deepsthat are associated with tsunami formation. The quake'sepicenter was 253 miles SSW of Apalachicola, Florida.
For more information about a possible increase in gulf andcentral U.S. earthquake activity,clickhere.
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