Several 'Frost Quakes' Reported In Tennessee


Have you heard some loud popping noises outside your home? Maybe your house shook a bit and you asked, "Was that an earthquake?" If so, what you may have experienced is a "frost quake."

A frost quake, also known as an ice quake or cryoseism, occurs when water seeps into the ground and quickly freezes. As the water turns to ice, it expands, resulting in the surrounding ground to crack and create a loud noise or even tremble.

Over the last week, Tennessee was hit with harsher winter weather than it typically experiences in a season, and as a result, snow and ice cover a vast part of the state. With another ice storm on the way, it doesn't seem as if the ground will thaw any time soon.

A man in Lobelville, about an hour southwest of Nashville, reported hearing the strange noises more than a dozen times since Tuesday night (February 16). Cody Warren took to Twitter to see if anyone else had experienced the quakes that he said had shaken his house. Warren told WKRN that is was a strange feeling hearing "loud pops" that shook his house "like thunder."

This isn't the first time frost quakes have shocked Tennessee residents. After the 2015 ice storm, many people called police and even 911 after hearing what they described as "loud booms" and "explosions," according to WATE.

According to the National Weather Service, frost quakes are harmless, and typically occur in colder areas such as the Northeastern United States and Canada.

Photo: Getty Images


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