Shallow M4.6 earthquake hits Alberta, stops hydraulic fracturing activities, Canada


A very shallow earthquake registered by the Environment Canada as M4.6 hit Red Deer, Alberta at 12:55 UTC on March 4, 2019 at a depth of 1 km (0.62 miles). This is the largest earthquake ever registered in the region and one of the largest in Alberta.

The epicenter was located around 19 km (11.8 miles) west of Red Deer and 130 km (80.7 miles) north of Calgary, Alberta.

While there were no damage or injuries reported, the quake was widely felt and it knocked out power to around 4 600 customers for about an hour. 

The Alberta Energy Regulator spokesperson Natalie Brodych said Vesta Energy was conducting hydraulic fracturing activities in the area, but has since stopped.

"We are currently reviewing the events to determine if the incident is due to hydraulic fracturing activities or natural causes," Brodych said.

According to data provided by Environment Canada, this is the largest earthquake ever registered in this region and one of the largest in Alberta.

Historical earthquakes magnitude 5.0 and larger

Earthquakes magnitude 2.0 and larger, 2000 – present

Largest earthquakes in the region

Date Magnitude Type Longitude Latitude
1984/09/03 4.0 MN -115.20 52.20
1984/11/19 3.8 MN -115.22 52.20
1985/03/11 3.9 MN -115.27 52.19
1985/08/24 3.8 MN -115.44 52.28
1985/09/01 3.8 MN -115.29 52.22
1994/11/19 3.8 ML -115.22 52.19
1996/10/19 3.8 MN -115.21 52.21
1997/03/31 4.0 MN -116.17 52.76
2001/07/02 4.0 Mw -116.48 52.93
2014/08/09 3.8 Mw -115.25 52.17
2019/03/04 4.6 ML -113.34 52.41

Featured image credit: Environment Canada


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