How common are earthquakes in Georgia?

4:58 p.m Wednesday, June 21, 2017 Weather

Georgia has seen its fare share of thunderstorms and tornadoes, but many were shook when a 3.2 magnitude earthquake hit Augusta Tuesday morning.

About 1,800 people reported feeling it from all around Augusta. But just how common are earthquakes in the Peach State? 

These natural disasters are more prevalent in three major zones of the earth - the circum-Pacific seismic belt, the Alpide and the mid-Atlantic ridge.

However, more than three dozen earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater have occurred in Georgia since 1974, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Yet, the state doesn’t have that many quakes compared to other areas. 

Aside from Tuesday’s shake, it had one of 2.5 or greater last year, one in 2015, one in 2014 and four in 2013. 

The largest Georgia one ever recorded happened in 1916. It was a 4.1 magnitude earthquake about 30 miles from Atlanta. 

On the other hand, Alaska, Oklahoma and California register the most earthquakes in a given year, according to the USGS. In 2014, there were 585 M3 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma and about 200 in California, government records show. 

The largest Oklahoma one ever recorded happened 2011. It was a 5.7 magnitude earthquake.

Georgia still has a number of fault lines though. That’s where most earthquakes occur.

The Brevard Fault Line, the best-known one, runs from Blue Ridge to Marietta. The Soque River Fault follows the Sogue River in the Northeast, and Salacoa Creek is in Northwest Cherokee County.  

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