Manhattan Fault Line

One of my New Year’s blogolutions was to clear out my to-blog folder, and bring closure to my unfinished drafts by simply posting them as-is. This is one of those drafts. Disorganized paragraphs, unfinished sentences, and general incoherence enhance the natural character and beauty of a half-written blog post and should not be considered flaws or defects.

Draft date: August 15, 2008

At about 2 in the morning on Saturday night, I was wandering back to the hotel when I found myself chatting with someone on the street. I have no idea how the conversation got onto earthquakes, but it did, and this woman told me about a fault line that runs through Manhattan and goes off “every 150 years”.

I was skeptical. The Eastern United States has a long and complex geological history that has left the place riddled with old fault lines, and while I didn’t have specific information about Manhattan geology, it

For one thing, faults don’t go off like clockwork.

This may be due to Steve Wynn (video with bonus nostril views!):

Comments

  1. Lab Lemming wrote:

    The fault is in the Hudson:

    Manhattan is mostly Paleozoic schist, while the down-dropped New Jersey side is all Triassic basalt.

  2. Falyne wrote:

    I was hanging out with a NYC science fiction fan group a buddy of mine belongs to last week, and one of them told me that there had been an earthquake in the high 5.somethings back in the eighties with the epicenter just over in Jersey that, supposedly, didn’t have any casualties.

    I’d meant to Google this (and I’ll go do that now, since you’ve reminded me) because this San-Diegan-with-family-in-LA took one look at all the old brick construction and general lack of earthquake preparation and immediately doubted the lack of casualties, even with the hard bedrock vs. adobe differences.

  3. Jim G wrote:

    If the NJ earthquake was in Lake Telemark, I remember it. I lived about 10 miles from the ‘epicenter’ and I did not know about it until I saw it on the news. FYI – NJ just had an earthquake last night (2/2) around 10:34 pm. The epicenter was in Victory Gardens, not far from Lake Telemark. It was a 3.0, and people reported hearing an explosion, not feeling an earthquake. I also remember ‘hearing an explosion’ in the late 70s while staring out the window of my Junior HS. I don’t know much about that earthquake because I wasn’t up on current events back then. Earthquakes happen in NJ albeit very small, but as far as I know, there haven’t been any in Manhatten in my lifetime.

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