Earthquake felt across Boone

Stephanie Sansoucy

The United States Geological Survey reported a magnitude-2.9 earthquake in Blowing Rock just before 4 p.m. Sunday.

The earthquake could be felt in Boone and as far away as Bristol, Tenn., according to

The shaking lasted for a few seconds, but was surprisingly intense for the quake’s magnitude, said Scott Marshall, an assistant professor of geology at Appalachian State University. The depth of the seismic event was only 9.1 km, which Marshall said could have accounted for the abnormal intensity.

“Earthquakes this small are usually not felt at all or barely felt,” he said.
The epicenter was found just off of Flat Top Road near Appalachian Ski Mountain, Marshall said.  However, he said that because there is so little detection equipment on the east coast, an exact location can’t be pinpointed.

“You have to take earthquake locations with a grain of salt,” he said.

Marshall said the precise cause of the earthquake cannot be determined.

It’s likely it was caused by a slip on a reactivated thrust fault from when the African continent collided with North America, or normal faults, which were active when Africa split from the continent, according to

Story: JOSHUA FARMER, Managing Editor