Integrating PHysical Science and the Geological Environment
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EXAMPLES IN CONNECTICUT
On May 16, 1791, Moodus Connecticut suffered the worst of a long history of shakes and jolts that occurred over the last four centuries. These earth tremors have been associated with loud rumbling noises. The name Moodus is believed to originate from Machemoodus, a Wangunk Indian name referring to bad noise or place of noise. Although there has been no shock waves to compare to 1971, earthquakes still occur in Moodus. In 1981 and 1982 there were more than 500 quakes during a several month period. Most of these were considered to be micro-quakes that were too small to even be felt without sensitive instrument. However, in 1917 and in 1968 moderate to large earthquakes occurred which resulted in shaking houses and rattling windows. In Connecticut there are many more inactive than active faults. The state is cut by several hundred faults of various sizes, although nearly all are totally inactive. No spot in Connecticut is more than five miles from a fault. Even though the potential for earthquakes is very small, these fault lines often mark the boundary between two contrasting rock types brought in contact by crustal motions in past times. Frequently, faults mark the boundaries between landscape regions. The Eastern Border Fault separates the brownstone of the Central Valley from the metamorphic rocks of the Eastern Uplands. The Cameron’s Line Fault divides the Northwest Highlands from the rest of the Western Uplands.