New Brunswick

Natural Resources Canada sends seismologist to record McAdam quakes

A seismologist from Ottawa has set up measuring equipment in the village of McAdam, which is still being rattled by earthquakes. Calvin Andrews, a technician with Natural Resources Canada, installed the first of four aftershock deployment kits in the village high school.

More than 23 tremors have been recorded since Feb. 1

This seismometer is one of 4 installed in and around the village of McAdam. (CBC)

Two seismologists from Ottawa have set up measuring equipment in the village of McAdam, which is still being rattled by earthquakes eight days after the swarm of tremors began. 

Calvin Andrews, a technologist with Natural Resources Canada, installed the first of four aftershock deployment kits in the basement of the village high school Thursday morning.
Seismologist Calvin Andrews says the aftershock deployment kits will do a good job of recording any tremors. (CBC)

"This took me about 15 minutes to set up and we're already streaming data into Ottawa now," he said. "They're very sensitive." 

He and seismologist Stephen Halchuk are installing these kits, because the nearest permanent seismometer is 40 kilometres away in St. George, providing less than accurate data on the recent quakes.

Over the past eight days there have been dozens of small quakes under the village, measuring up to a 3.3 magnitude, strong enough to crack windows.

It's likely a fault, but it's very small.- Stephen Halchuk, seismologist

"I know residents aren't glad to hear it but I'm glad to hear that there were a couple of events last night, because I was afraid that as soon as we got permission to come down the earthquake stops," said Halchuk.

That's what happened last time Natural Resources Canada installed the devices in McAdam, he said, after a similar swarm in 2012. This time, he hopes to learn a lot more.

"It's likely a fault, but it's very small," he said. 
Stephen Halchuk, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, says the McAdam earthquakes are likely caused by a fault, "but it's very small." (CBC)

"There's no plate boundary here. There's not two plates interacting like you have on the west coast of North America, so we can't point to a definite source and say that's what's causing the events."

Halchuk says the data won't help predict when a quake is coming, but it should give a better idea about the likelihood of any larger events in the future.

Natural Resources Canada says the four seismometers will be kept in McAdam for at least a few months.


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