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TheWeatherPimp

Frost Quake Strikes Indiana & Ohio

90 posts in this topic

I am absolutely fascinated . This truly is a very rare phenomena that scientists and meteorologists alike no very little about. I am saving all of my weather station's data from the past 24 hours and am going to try to find some ground temperature data. I am also measuring our current water content/ice & snow depth, etc. Amazing, absolutely amazing.

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Just some more information I found:

[font="Arial"][color="#000000"]AKA an [url="http://everything2.com/title/ice+quake"]ice quake[/url], or a [url="http://everything2.com/title/frost+quake"]frost quake[/url]. No, not tremors in glaciers and ice sheets; these are '[url="http://everything2.com/title/earthquake"]earthquakes[/url]' caused by the freezing of the ground, and as such are highly localized, and are non-[url="http://everything2.com/title/tectonic"]tectonic[/url]. They can be very loud, and may in some cases be accompanied by electrical discharges[sup]1[/sup], but they are generally very mild, as earthquakes go. [/color][/font]

[font="Arial"][color="#000000"] As the ground freezes the water in the soil expands, causing pressure to build. This pressure can expend itself in loud pops and bangs and tremors and jerks. These effects are usually in the IV to VI range of [url="http://everything2.com/title/Modified+Mercalli+Scale+for+Earthquake+Destructiveness"]Modified Mercalli Scale for Earthquake Destructiveness[/url] -- the 'noticeable vibration' to 'minor furniture-joggling and window-breaking' range. These occur at or near the surface of the Earth, allowing them to be very obvious to those nearby, and completely unfelt by people a 'short' distance (perhaps a mile or so) away. [/color][/font]

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Here is a news release that I put together real quick from our office for the local media outlets:

During the early morning hours of Thursday, February 10th, 2011, many residents across Randolph and Darke Counties reported feeling a loud explosion, some saying it felt like an earthquake.

After making dozens of phone calls, and doing plenty of research, nearly every possible logical option was ruled out including an earthquake, sonic booms, an explosion, etc. Speaking to several experts, they seemed perplexed as the reports of this explosion like shaking were fairly widespread with varying reports of when the shaking actually occurred.

Continuing to do research and speaking to experts, it was finally concluded that a very rare phenomena occurred across a large portion of Central and Eastern Indiana and into Western Ohio. This phenomena is called a Cryoseism, more commonly known as a "Frost Quake." While meteorologists and scientists no very little about these Frost Quakes, they more commonly occur across portions of Greenland, Iceland, Canada and the Upper Great Lake states.

Frost quakes are similar to earthquakes in that they often do shake the ground and have been known to cause structural damage. Frost quakes are recorded locally but very rarely are they recorded by more distant seismograph stations.

Frost quakes are often caused by a sudden drop in temperatures, usually well below zero, and occur due to a layer of melting ice or snow which causes a high soil moisture content. It is theorized that Frost Quakes occur more commonly following a significant ice or sleet storm. As the ground freezes the water in the soil expands, causing pressure to build.

Frost quakes occur in a very localized area and it appears that literally dozens if not hundreds of frost quakes occurred across Indiana and Ohio during the early morning hours of Thursday as temperatures fell well below zero.

Luckily, no reports of damage, at least to my knowledge, have been reported.

Brandon Redmond[url="http://www.indianaweatheronline.com/"][/url]

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[quote name='eyewall' timestamp='1297375717' post='460075']
Cool but that doesn't explain the blue flash.
[/quote]

Transformer blowing because of the frost quake? - I'm telling you this was some serious serious shaking.

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[quote name='TheWeatherPimp' timestamp='1297374014' post='459996']
Just some more information I found:

[font="Arial"][color="#000000"]AKA an [url="http://everything2.com/title/ice+quake"]ice quake[/url], or a [url="http://everything2.com/title/frost+quake"]frost quake[/url]. No, not tremors in glaciers and ice sheets; these are '[url="http://everything2.com/title/earthquake"]earthquakes[/url]' caused by the freezing of the ground, and as such are highly localized, and are non-[url="http://everything2.com/title/tectonic"]tectonic[/url]. They can be very loud, and may in some cases be accompanied by electrical discharges[sup]1[/sup], but they are generally very mild, as earthquakes go. [/color][/font]

[font="Arial"][color="#000000"] As the ground freezes the water in the soil expands, causing pressure to build. This pressure can expend itself in loud pops and bangs and tremors and jerks. These effects are usually in the IV to VI range of [url="http://everything2.com/title/Modified+Mercalli+Scale+for+Earthquake+Destructiveness"]Modified Mercalli Scale for Earthquake Destructiveness[/url] -- the 'noticeable vibration' to 'minor furniture-joggling and window-breaking' range. These occur at or near the surface of the Earth, allowing them to be very obvious to those nearby, and completely unfelt by people a 'short' distance (perhaps a mile or so) away. [/color][/font]
[/quote]
Only thing the doesn't make sense is the ground was already frozen..

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[quote name='eyewall' timestamp='1297375717' post='460075']
Cool but that doesn't explain the blue flash.
[/quote]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frost_quake

[quote]Some reports have indicated the presence of "distant flashing lights" before or during a cryoseism, possibly due to the electrical changes when the rocks are compressed.[4][/quote]

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[quote name='dilly84' timestamp='1297378719' post='460263']
Only thing the doesn't make sense is the ground was already frozen..
[/quote]

That's what I'm trying to figure out. Hasn't it been well below freezing there for a while, now?

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[quote name='Mallow' timestamp='1297378903' post='460267']
That's what I'm trying to figure out. Hasn't it been well below freezing there for a while, now?
[/quote]

Well we believe that these "frost quakes" have been occurring for about the past 48 hours as we had reports of people feeling and hearing explosions as early as Tuesday Night. We did get above freezing earlier this week before this renewed cold snap hit, so there was a pretty significant period of thawing prior to the rapid freeze Tuesday Night and Wednesday Night.

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[quote name='TheWeatherPimp' timestamp='1297379269' post='460283']
Well we believe that these "frost quakes" have been occurring for about the past 48 hours as we had reports of people feeling and hearing explosions as early as Tuesday Night. We did get above freezing earlier this week before this renewed cold snap hit, so there was a pretty significant period of thawing prior to the rapid freeze Tuesday Night and Wednesday Night.
[/quote]

Was there a lot of snowmelt, too? Because that would be another sign that could point to a frost quake... more water in the soil.

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[quote name='Mallow' timestamp='1297378903' post='460267']
That's what I'm trying to figure out. Hasn't it been well below freezing there for a while, now?
[/quote]
Our ground is snow covered and solid and has been for days.. so I'm not sure someone could convince me of that being what was heard. It also seems like that would be a more localized type of deal, not something heard over a wide area.

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[quote name='Mallow' timestamp='1297379905' post='460316']
Was there a lot of snowmelt, too? Because that would be another sign that could point to a frost quake... more water in the soil.
[/quote]

We have a combo of ice and snow but yes, we did lose quite a bit on Sunday, Monday and even Tuesday. I'm sold, it makes sense to me, all the ingredients were definitely there. Also the fact that these things were reported at all different hours, times, etc. leads me to believe that there were dozens if not hundreds of frost quakes all across Indiana and Ohio. NWS agrees too, fwiw.

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The most logical explanation given all the data does seem to be the frost quake, especially since references to lights have also occurred with frost quakes in other areas in the past. This is really fascinating. I had not heard of this phenomenon until today and I was an earth science major in college! Some years ago, though.:whistle:

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[quote name='hoosierwx' timestamp='1297379960' post='460321']
Great , now I'm in a Frost Quake screw zone!:angry:
[/quote]

No doubt, it would have been the cherry on top for this winter here. I can't wait until non-Frost Quake season. :violin:

But seriously, pretty cool phenomena. Learn something new everyday.

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[quote name='dilly84' timestamp='1297379928' post='460319']
Our ground is snow covered and solid and has been for days.. so I'm not sure someone could convince me of that being what was heard. It also seems like that would be a more localized type of deal, not something heard over a wide area.
[/quote]

"it was a ufo dilly...we can hold back the truth no longer"...."mulder, get in the car, our work here is done. we cannot hide the truth from dilly..."

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a little o.t. here, but a friend of mine that coaches volleyball at a prominent parochial school near toledo, rode with me to a coaches meeting back in 2003 - needless to say we had alot of time to bull****...his daughter is an engineer at wright pat, graduated from wright state, and is a level 4 or 5 out of 10 as far as clearance there...and he said she comes home every holiday and says something along the lines of "dad, if the public knew the technology we had, they would freak out"..and cant and wont say any more...also said alot of the stuff they work on doesn't look like its from this world, or something to that effect...i always pry for cool stories when i see him...

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I did an interview with the Dayton Daily News earlier this evening

DAYTON — Frost quakes, a rare phenomena that simulate earthquakes, rattled hundreds of residents Thursday in Darke and Miami counties in Ohio and Randolph County in Indiana, emergency management officials said.

The quake, or cryoseism as it’s known in scientific circles, occurs when moisture soaks into the soil and a quick freeze causes a sudden, even violent expansion and contraction. Darke County’s 911 director Brandon Redmond said the quakes erupted for eight hours Thursday, starting at 1 a.m. The heaviest reports were between 5:30-7:30 a.m.

Redmond, who lives in Arcanum, experienced it Thursday morning in the shower. The shaking of his house caused him to rush out of the bathroom at 7:15 a.m., thinking a transformer exploded nearby. He watched as his lights flickered. “It wasn’t ‘till I came in to work that I realized I hadn’t lost my mind, and I started hearing that other people experienced the same thing,” he said.

Throughout Thursday, hundreds of messages appeared on the Darke County Sheriff’s Facebook page.

Redmond said consultation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio and Indiana Emergency Management officials led to the frost quake assessment.

There have been no reports of damage, Redmond added, although damage has been reported from other occurrences. The phenomenon has been reported mainly in northern states such as Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts and upstate New York.

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