Weston Observatory Hosts Geology Conference

Weston Observatory Hosts Geology Conference

Two-hundred-seventy-five years ago, on Oct. 29, 1727, an earthquake centered near Newbury, Mass., shook the chimneys and church steeples of Puritan Massachusetts and sparked fears that the end of the world was at hand.

John Ebel
It wasn't the Second Coming, but the 1727 quake, estimated to have measured 5.6 on the Richter scale, was the largest on land ever recorded in Massachusetts.

Weston Observatory Director Prof. John Ebel (Geology and Geophysics), who has researched the storied temblor as part of his studies of New England's seismic history, led a contingent of scientists to the historic quake-site on Oct. 20 as part of the 74th annual meeting of the Eastern section of the Seismological Society of America. The event was hosted by Weston Observatory and the Geology and Geophysics Department at BC.

"It's an educational trip for the other scientists, for me to show them what we know about this earthquake and for them to explain what they've discovered in other places that might help us," Ebel told the Boston Globe.

The conference, held at Weston Observatory Oct. 20-22, drew geologists from North America, Europe and Asia.

Several presentations were made on the magnitude-5 earthquake April 20 that was centered near Au Sable Forks, NY, and felt across much of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Others detailed earthquake activity in New England, Quebec, South Carolina, the central United States, Turkey, Korea, China and New Zealand.

-Mark Sullivan


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