Great Smoky Mountain Earthquake rattles the Southern Appalachians Wednesday, November 11, 2020.
A 2.4 magnitude earthquake, which occurred about 9:08 a.m. on Wednesday, rattled the Tennessee side of the Great SmokyMountain National Park, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Residents in both Tennessee and North Carolina, some as far as 16 miles away, reported feeling the quake which was centered nearly 6 miles beneath the surface and located one mile east of Mount Le Conte and south of the Brushy Mountain and Porters Creek Trail areas, according to a Face book post by the National Park service. Mount Le Conte, at some 6,595 feet is among the tallest mountain peaks in the eastern United States, and rises more than a vertical mile above Gatlinburg.
No damage was reported in the park.
It is not the first quake recorded in the area. A spokesperson for the National Park Service said the Smokies is a moderately geologically active area which experiences one to three earthquakes a year, none of which have caused adverse impact on facilities or visitors. The Park Service also noted that millions of years ago the region was among the most geologically active sites on the planet, due to colliding tectonic plates.
Evidence of this can be found in rocks of the Great Smoky Mountains that attest to an incredibly long and active geologic history in the area, according to a park service post, which added “the last great episode of mountain building uplifted the entire Appalachian mountain chain from Newfound-land in Canada to Alabama. These mountains probably were much higher than today, with elevations similar to today’s Rockies.”