Why Did Illinois, Nebraska and Kansas Have Weird Quakes Sunday?
Earthquakes happen every day, but they don't happen every day in Illinois, Nebraska and Kansas who all had measurable quakes that were felt Sunday.
I check the USGS earthquake shake map often since I'm a geology nerd. I'm not used to seeing new measurable quakes in 3 weird places on Sunday. The largest of the 3 was a moderate 4.2 on the Nebraska/Kansas border. Northern Nebraska was also shaken by a 3.2 quake centered just across the border in South Dakota. Shortly after those 2 quakes, a minor 2.1 quake was reported in Olmsted, Illinois.
Even though the largest 4.2 quake happened in the southern part of Nebraska where few people live, it was reportedly felt by dozens.
Are there active earthquake faults in the Midwest other than the New Madrid Fault Zone?
Science.org reminds us that even though the New Madrid Fault understandably gets the most attention, there are other active faults in the Midwest. The Wabash Valley Fault in Illinois may be capable of an even stronger quake than the New Madrid. Yes, earthquakes are more rare in Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota, but this has been an active year in those areas. It was just over a month ago that Kansas was shaken by a moderate quake as we reported.
More than likely, the 3 quakes in the Midwest today are just random events that aren't connected to something bigger, but it's worth keeping an eye on the USGS earthquake page in case they are a precursor to something more serious.