Weston Observatory talks Plainfield earthquakes

WESTON, Mass. (WTNH)– As rumbles and rattles continue to become a common occurrence in Eastern Connecticut, scientists to the north are keeping a close eye on it all.

The Weston Observatory at Boston College in Massachusetts monitors seismic stations across the region. Those stations record ground vibrations and then collect the data after an earthquake occurs.

“People are surprised to learn that we average about half a dozen felt earthquakes a year in New England,” said Dr. John Ebel, senior research scientist at Weston Observatory.

News 8 was at the facility this morning to talk to scientists about what’s been happening. That’s when a 1.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Plainfield area. Ebel says that’s the 11th significant earthquake in a week’s time. There have also been several other quakes, but those were too weak to pinpoint.

“What I would characterize as happening in Plainfield is what we would call an earthquake swarm,” said Ebel. “A swarm is when you have earthquakes of the same size and they take place over a period of time.”

Earthquake swarms can last days, weeks, even months. Ebel says the one thing that’s strange about the quakes are that they seem to be happening at the same time of day, which isn’t too common with seismic activity.

All the commotion has left those who live in and around Plainfield on edge. Dr. Ebel says right now there’s no telling when the quakes will stop or if they will intensify.

“When we’ve had big earthquakes in the past sometimes those have been preceded by small earthquakes,” said Ebel. “We are always watching these small earthquakes wondering if something big could happen.”

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