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Weak earthquake hits near Marion

Staff writer

A weak earthquake measuring 2.5 on the Richter scale rattled nerves and a few windows at 8:02 p.m. Thursday.

The epicenter was a little less than five miles below the surface between 170th, 180th, Remington, and Sunflower Rds., just southwest of Marion.

A cause was not immediately known.

Some earthquakes have been attributed to human activities such as impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth’s crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations.

All might be involved at this location. However, the most common cause cited for earthquakes in Marion County is a geological formation called the Nemeha uplift.

The uplift, which geologists say was created by or was one of the creation forces behind the Flint Hills, frequently produces quakes like the one felt Thursday.

Such quakes are barely felt but often can be heard — a sound somewhat like thunder when deep, subterranean rocks crack.

Quakes are not that uncommon in Marion County.

In 2023, a total of 32 quakes were reported in the county. Most were milder than magnitude 2.8.

Quakes between 2.5 and 5.4 typically are felt but rarely cause damage. Quakes causing damage typically are magnitude 5.5 or greater.

The magnitude scale is logarithmic. Each increase of one is equivalent to a tenfold increase in ground motion.

The most recent quakes in the area were just a few days earlier — a magnitude 2.2 April 28 a mile east of Herington Airport in Morris County, a magnitude 2.4 April 27 four miles southeast of Cedar Point in Chase County, and a magnitude 2.6, also April 27, three miles southwest of Woodbine in Dickinson County.

Thursday’s quake was felt by dispatchers at Marion County Jail and by callers, including from a residence in the 500 block of N. Coble St. in Marion.

Last modified May 9, 2024

 

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