Earthquake or Icequake?

By The Canadian Press
January 3, 2018 - 7:21am Updated: January 3, 2018 - 8:46am

ALBERTA BEACH- Some residents of the village of Alberta Beach, west of Edmonton awoke to a very loud bang earlier this week, and in the morning they reported cracks in their homes and the ground.

Alberta Energy Regulator spokesman Jordan Fitzgerald says staff at the regulator's Alberta Geological Survey confirm there were two seismic events of approximately 2.0 magnitude late Monday night.

Fitzgerald says they can't confirm the exact location due to the low magnitude and sparsity of nearby seismic stations, but he says initial information shows they were consistent with reports of an earthquake near Alberta Beach.

Staff believe there may have been a natural earthquake or an "ice quake," which Fitzgerald says occurs when cold winter temperatures cause groundwater to freeze quickly, causing the ground to suddenly crack.

Alberta Beach Mayor Jim Benedict says people thought something had hit their houses or that something had fallen on their houses.

Benedict adds, the water table in the area is high and says it's possible it froze and "popped."

(The Canadian Press) 


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