The EERI Northern California Regional Chapter is hosting a FREE webinar on the recent earthquake swarm in South Carolina that started in December 2021.
South Carolina is experiencing the longest swarm of earthquakes in its recorded history. Over 50 earthquakes have occurred this year. The swarm began Dec. 27, 2021 with a M3.3, with the strongest being a M3.6 on June 29, 2022. These were among the two largest quakes to hit South Carolina in nearly a decade. They were centered near the cities of Elgin and Lugoff, located northeast of the state capital Columbia. This area lies on top of an ancient fault zone called the Eastern Piedmont Fault System. In contrast, the largest earthquake (M7.3) ever recorded along the Eastern Seaboard struck outside of Charleston in 1886 about 120 miles southeast of the current swam. The 1886 quake is believed to be centered on a different inferred rift zone located near the coast.
Fortunately, the intensities of the recent swarm (<M4.0) were such that negligible damage occurred to the built environment. However, the frequent quakes caused anxiety and heightened awareness of seismic risks for many South Carolina citizens. This has led to more attention to the need for earthquake preparedness and emergency response planning.
Two speakers from South Carolina will present at the webinar:
Steven Jaume, Professor of Geology at the College of Charleston, will discuss the seismology of South Carolina and details of the recent swarm, including the possible effects of the Wateree River in changing the rock pore-pressure thereby triggering the swarm.
Brian Blake, Program Manager, Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), will present an overview of CUSEC and activities in South Carolina on earthquake preparedness and emergency response planning.
The webinar will include time for participants to ask questions of the speakers.