Weather Radio Safety program
Updated: 08/04/2011 -
Update 10:45pm Tuesday March 27, 2012
More booms tonight in Clintonville. 60 calls in about 15 minutes to the police there. USGS equipment has not picked up the rattling, but a statewide sensor has.
Looks like there was another "swarm" of microearthquakes.
Update: 8am Friday March 23, 2012: Confirmed as earthquake and one of many microquakes.
New update: 4:19pm Thursday March 22, 2012.
I'm following along some twitter feeds and there is mention that while the USGS has listed it as an earthquake, there may be a different source(s) that started and triggered the seismic report. While it has taken a few days, this kind of small disturbance has taken a lot of time and research to go back through it to find out exactly what happened.
New Information: 3:21pm Thursday March 22, 2012.
The USGS now has information that a rather small (1.5 magnitude) earthquake happened at 12:15am Tuesday morning. (oddly enough, this is one minute after the Vernal (Spring) Equinox happened)
Earthquakes of this rather "low" magnitude, can usually go unnoticed, unless they happen close to populated areas. They normally refer to these kind of quakes as "microearthquakes", which is a term used to describe these relatively "low" magnitude earthquakes. (less than a magnitude 2.0 on the Richter Scale) The USGS estimates that millions of earthquakes occur every year, and this may be an example of some of the "smaller" ones, not necessarily going unnoticed. This quake occurred approximately 3.1 miles below the surface of the Earth.
Another press conference is scheduled for 6pm tonight, in Clintonville, to discuss their findings.
No noises were reported from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, which is the first time in several days loud booming noises weren't reported in the area.
Over the course of the past few days, there have been quite of few reports of loud booms around the Clintonville area in Waupaca County. The first reports trickled in Sunday March 18, 2012 and then again over the course of the next few days.
While the mysterious noises and sounds still go unexplained, I would expect more information to become available about what these sounds may or could possibly be. There has been speculation about several different theories as to what it is and what could be causing it. I have heard about anything from fracking to possibly a quick warm up and loss of frost in the soil due to the very warm conditions this state has experienced in the past month. In addition, I have read about people speculating about the military and the testing of high speed aerial vehicles around the area.
I have found two things that may be more the reason for these strange sounds and noises, one of which has to do with the warmer weather, the other possibly with the geology of the area itself. Cryogenic "earthquakes" can happen when the rock has ice that forms quickly in it, and then when a rapid warm up happens (like this March)the rapid thaw can expand the ground quickly under the surface of the Earth. As you can imagine, to get massive rocks and bedrock to expand quickly that a rapid thaw can cause, it is going to come at the cost of other areas of bedrock moving. Rocks are large and heavy, and when a huge area of them breaks, it is going to release shockwaves of energy that travel under the surface of the Earth.
One other thought I have, is that the area sits along two different areas of bedrock that range back to the actual formation of the landform of Wisconsin. There are two types of bedrock around this area, one being from the Cambrian Era, which is sandstone, dolomite and shale. The other area consisting of bedrock from the Proterozoic Era that is mainly made up of granite. As you can imagine, the granite is a much stronger rock and if that would happen to be moving/shifting, from either the above mentioned "cryogenic earthquake" or not, it may explain why there is such a loud noise being reported with these events.
I don't pretend to know the answer to these noises and who knows, maybe they are done and won't be heard from ever again. Just trying to offer up a few things that may or may not be happening under the surface of this great planet we call Earth.
Hopefully, at some point, someone will discover some breaks in the bedrock in a field somewhere, so that we can put the term "mysterious booms" to rest.
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