M 4.8 – 2024 Whitehouse Station, New Jersey Earthquake

The April 5, 2024, M 4.8 earthquake near Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, occurred as a result of oblique reverse and strike-slip faulting at shallow depths in the crust. Although this event did not occur near a plate boundary, such “intraplate” earthquakes can and do occur. While this earthquake is relatively small globally, earthquakes of this magnitude are commonly widely felt in the eastern United States because of efficient seismic wave propagation in the region.

Earthquakes in the eastern US are infrequent but not unexpected. Since 1950, 40 other earthquakes of magnitude 3 and larger have occurred within 250 km of today’s earthquake. In that time range, the April 5, 2024, earthquake is the largest. Within 500 km of the April 5th earthquake, 13 earthquakes M 4.5 and larger have been recorded since 1950, the largest being the August 23, 2011, M 5.8 Mineral Virginia earthquake which caused substantial damage and was felt throughout the eastern US. The April 5, 2024, earthquake occurred in a region where faults have been previously identified and may be reactivated at any time. (www.usgs.gov)

April 5, 2024

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