28 December 2013

Cryoseism explained

"Around 11 p.m. Christmas Eve, people reported hearing a loud “boom” in Toronto, Newmarket, Aurora, Belleville, Richmond Hill, and Sutton. Not only was the boom heard, but it rattled houses, leaving many to believe that a tree had fallen on their rooftop...

The most likely explanation is that it was a cryoseism, also known as a frost quake.
Cyroseisms are rare, localized seismic events that occur when a sudden drop in temperature freezes the groundwater, which then expands and cracks the soil and rock. The crack will release a sudden burst of explosive energy, resulting in a loud noise and the shaking of the ground. They usually occur between midnight and dawn."
Addendum: recent occurrences here in Wisconsin:
The series of explosion-like sounds rattled residents from Waupun, Campbellsport and elsewhere Tuesday and sent Fond du Lac County sheriff's deputies out looking for a cause. Geologists say the booms were likely a phenomenon commonly known as an ice quake


  1. I experienced this: I live in Markham, approx. 30 km from Toronto's city centre. I was lying in bed, and my queen size bed shook and actually moved on the wood floor. And it was loud! I'd have appreciated it more if I knew what it was at the time (and stayed in bed!!)

  2. Felt one yesterday morning as the temp plummetted in Dickinson Center, NY.

  3. Reminds me of the Seneca Guns in my area. Of course, they are heard year round and there isn't an explanation for them.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...