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Virginia Earthquake Topic of Free USGS Lecture Wednesday
Released: 10/31/2011 7:57:41 AM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communications and Publishing
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119
Reston, VA 20192
Melanie  Gade 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4353

RESTON, Va. - The magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered in Louisa County, Va., Aug. 23 -- likely felt by more people than any other quake in U.S. history – is the topic of a free public lecture Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Geological Survey National Center in Reston, Va. 

The earthquake caused extensive damage in central Virginia and was among the largest ever to occur along the eastern seaboard.  USGS Associate Coordinator for Hazards Mike Blanpied and research geologist Mark Carter will discuss the seismology of the earthquake, its effects, its context in Virginia’s geology and the likelihood of a recurrence.

The USGS “Did You Feel It?” website, which tracks locations where people have felt an earthquake based on their inputs, registered 141,784 people who felt this earthquake in more than 3,400 zip codes from Georgia to New York.  Up to a third of the U.S. population might have been able to feel this earthquake had they been still when it occurred. The reason the earthquake was felt so widely was because it was shallow, and geologic conditions in the eastern U.S. allow the effects of earthquakes to spread much more efficiently than in the western U.S. 

For more information and directions visit the Public Lecture Series website.

The lecture is in a federal facility and a photo ID is required for entry. 

Those unable to attend the lecture in person can follow it live on Twitter @USGSLive

The USGS public lectures are held monthly in Reston, Virginia. These evening events are free to the public and intended to familiarize a general audience with science issues that are meaningful to their daily lives. USGS speakers are selected for their ability and enthusiasm to share their expertise with an audience that may be unfamiliar with the topic. 

The series provides the public an opportunity to interact with USGS scientists and ask questions about recent developments in Natural Hazards; Water; Energy Minerals and Environmental Health; Climate and Land Use Change; Ecosystems; and Core Science Systems. Ultimately, the goal is to create a better understanding of the importance and value of USGS science in action.

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