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Hilltown Archives The Altamont Enterprise, September 1, 2011
By Anne Hayden
HILLTOWNS In the midst of tropical storm Irene, two dozen small earthquakes, unrelated to Irene, were recorded in the town of Knox.
Between Sunday, Aug. 28, and Monday, Aug. 29, twenty-four quakes shook the Earth at depths ranging from 11 to 15 miles, according to Chuck Ver Straeten, New York State Museum and State Geological Survey geologist.
The largest of the quakes registered at a magnitude of 2.9, just enough to be felt, he said. The smallest was a magnitude of 1.5.
This activity came less than a week after the first two earthquakes recorded in Knox since the 1970s occurred, on the same day a large temblor centered in Virginia rocked the East Coast.
Seismologists are not sure what is causing the quakes in the Hilltowns; from February 2009 to March 2010 there were 38 earthquakes recorded in Berne.
The East Coast was a site of major mountain-building activity between 250 and 1.2 billion years ago, and some of the faults from that time are still deep in the rocks. Exposed rocks containing faults in the Adirondacks run under the ground to Albany, and most likely to the Helderbergs, said Ver Straeten.
There is no cause for concern over the quakes in the Hilltowns, he said.