Small earthquake rattles North Country

A small earthquake shook the ground across the North Country yesterday afternoon.

The earthquake registered a 3.7 on the Richter scale, according to officials with the U.S. Geological Survey. It occurred at 1:37 p.m. Wednesday and the epicenter was west of Mirabel, Quebec near the Quebec-Ontario border.

Dr. Frank Revetta is an internationally-known earthquake scholar and a professor at SUNY Potsdam. He says the "micro-quake" occurred in what he called the "lively western Quebec seismic zone."

"It's a belt of earthquakes that extends from the Adirondacks across the St. Lawrence River up into western Quebec," he said. "And there are an awful lot of small earthquakes that happen along that belt."

Revetta says he's not sure why the western Quebec seismic zone is so active, but he has his theories.

"One theory is that this area moved over a hotspot, and the hotspot created a lot of fractures in the rocks, and now these fractures are being reactivated by present day stresses," he said. "That is a theory that the Canadians have, but of course not everybody accepts that. No one really knows for sure why these earthquakes occur here."

Yesterday's quake didn't cause any damage, although it was felt throughout much of the North Country and along the Canadian border.

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