Ice Quake Rocks FDL and Green Lake Counties - WBAY

Ice Quake Rocks FDL and Green Lake Counties

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Fox Valley -

It turns out the frigid temperatures Monday and Tuesday weren't just making us shiver and shake. It appears the extreme cold also caused the ground to move in parts of Fond du Lac and Green Lake counties.

It was about six o'clock Monday night when many people in Markesan and surrounding communities were tucked in away from the cold. They heard a boom, felt a tremble and thought something terrible had happened."

"It was just like a big loud boom," say Markesan resident Catherine Crook. "And it just kept going and just shaking and just waiting for something. And when I was looking out windows I was expecting to see like flames or something from something exploding or some sign of something but there wasn't."

Catherine Crook wasn't alone. Others in the area not only felt and heard the same things, but also thought there was some type of explosion.

Says Gary Laybourn, "Called the neighbor and he heard it. Called my daughter in Princeton, they heard it. Friesland, they heard it."

More than likely what people experienced was a frost or ice quake, a seismic activity similar to an earthquake.

Dr. Tim Paulsen is a professor at UW-Oshkosh in the Geology Department. He says, "It has been really cold recently. And since it has been really cold it is reasonable to think the amount of ground or the thickness of ground that has become frozen has actually gotten deeper and so as it has gone deeper that's caused freezing of water to happen deeper within the ground causing failure, at least in those cases, beyond the depth at which we usually see it in this case."

Much like earthquakes, which are rare in northeast Wisconsin, ice quakes are hard to predict. So, as the winter continues we may or may not experience the same thing again.

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