Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — Parts of central and northern Illinois woke up to a little shaking as 3.6 magnitude earthquake occurred near Standard, IL just southeast of Granville. While shaking was reported reported between I-88 and I-74, no damage has been reported as of this writing. It was the first earthquake with a magnitude of 3.0 and an epicenter in Illinois since 2017 when a 3.8 magnitude quake occurred near Bellmont, IL.
So, how common are earthquakes in Illinois?
When you think about earthquakes in the U.S. states like California probably come to mind, but did you know Illinois is the hot bed of earthquakes in the Midwest? Well, it’s true, at least for southern Illinois.
The maps below from the United States Geological Survey show where ground shaking quakes are more common. It may come as a surprise, but parts of the Mississippi River Valley have just as high of a chance of experiencing earthquakes as California, perhaps just not as severe. The second map shows where damaging earthquakes are more common, and as one my suspect, we see more damaging quakes over the west.
What causes earthquakes in Illinois?
Most earthquakes in Illinois are the result of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a 150 mile long fault zone located in the Central Mississippi River Valley. This fault zone provides the greatest earthquake risk east of the Rockies. According to IEMA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency), while damaging quakes are not as common here as they are in California, when they do occur they can cover more than 15 times the area because of the prevailing geology and soil conditions.