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Open-File Report 2008–1221

Prepared in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey

Earthquakes in Ohio and Vicinity 1776—2007

By Richard L. Dart and Michael C. Hansen


Thumbnail of and link to PDF (3.7 MB)

This map summarizes two and a third centuries of earthquake activity. The seismic history consists of letters, journals, diaries, and newspaper and scholarly articles that supplement seismograph recordings (seismograms) dating from the early twentieth century to the present. All of the pre-instrumental (historical) earthquakes were large enough to be felt by people or to cause shaking damage to buildings and their contents. Later, widespread use of seismographs meant that tremors too small or distant to be felt could be detected and accurately located.
Earthquakes are a legitimate concern in Ohio and parts of adjacent States. Ohio has experienced more than 160 felt earthquakes since 1776. Most of these events caused no damage or injuries. However, 15 Ohio earthquakes resulted in property damage and some minor injuries. The largest historic earthquake in the state occurred in 1937. This event had an estimated magnitude of 5.4 and caused considerable damage in the town of Anna and in several other western Ohio communities. The large map shows all historical and instrumentally located earthquakes from 1776 through 2007.

Version 1.0

Posted August 2008

The database contact is:
Richard Dart
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, Mail Stop 966
Denver, CO 80225

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Dart, R.L. and Hansen, M.C., 2008, Earthquakes in Ohio and Vicinity 1776—2007: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1221.

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