Skip to Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search

University of Arkansas at Little Rock



2011 ES-SSA Meeting

October 16-18

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Special Session :

The Mw5.8 Central Virginia Seismic Zone Earthquake of August, 2011

On 2011 August 23 at 17:51:04 UTC a large earthquake (Mw5.8) struck in the Central Virginia seismic zone and was felt from Maine to Georgia along the Eastern Seaboard and west to Chicago and western Tennessee. Significant damage was reported in Washington D.C. ( 135 km away) and minor damage in Baltimore (200 km). The USGS tallied about 142,000 felt reports submitted to the DYFI internet community intensity system, making it the most widely felt earthquake since the web-site began, and strongly indicating that more people felt this quake than any other in U.S. history. In the weeks following the main shock, numerous aftershocks occurred with one as large as M4.5 and several in the M3 to M2 range. Since 1774, the Virginia seismic zone has produced many small earthquakes and suffered damage from several infrequent larger earthquakes. The largest damaging earthquake (magnitude 4.8) in the seismic zone occurred in 1875. In the days following the mainshock forty-five portable seismic stations were deployed by several organizations making this one of the best-recorded aftershock sequences in the eastern U.S. We solicit scientific contributions from all aspects of earthquake studies on the recent large earthquake in the Virginia seismic zone including: strong ground motion, aftershock production, earthquake re-location, attenuation, site amplification, building damage, ground failure, and paleo-seismology.

Session Conveners:

Daniel McNamara, Steve Horton and Rob Williams.