BAR HARBOR — It is about as far from “the big one,” as you can get.
A magnitude 2.4 earthquake was detected by seismic equipment late Sunday afternoon well offshore of Mount Desert Island, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The epicenter was located just over 16 miles southeast of Bar Harbor approximately 10 miles off Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Point. The fault that slipped causing the quake is approximately three miles underground.
According to USGS, earthquakes of that magnitude are seldom, if ever, felt at the surface. Sensitive instruments used to track quakes routinely pick up tremors of that magnitude around the country each day.
During 2006 and 2007, Bar Harbor and Acadia experienced several earthquakes, most centered just off the eastern shore of MDI. Before that time there had been just one reported of an earthquake being felt on MDI – in 1995.
Now referred to by scientists as “The Bar Harbor Series,” those 2006-2007 earthquakes included more than 20 fore and aftershocks under 2.5 on the Richter Scale and several major quakes including two more than 3.0 and one registering 4.2 on Oct. 3. Each full number change on the Richter Scale represents a ten-fold increase in power.
According to studies of the Bar Harbor Series, their relatively shallow depths resulted in them being more noticeable to people on the surface.
While no major damage was reported to structures, levels in monitored water wells dropped precipitously during those quakes and several rockslides were reported in Acadia including some that blocked roads for a brief time.
Anything under 2.0 on the Richter Scale is considered to be a microquake.