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GEOLOGY & GEOMORPHOLOGY

Geology and Geomorphology of Passamaquoddy Bay. Interesting information about pockmarks, glaciations, seismic activities and more. Earthquake leaves Calais radio station rocking By Derwin Gowan Telegraph-Journal NB Telegraph-Journal | Provincial News As published on page A3 on September 27, 2005 The late-night music call-in show on the Calais, Me., radio station WQDY really rocked on Saturday night. The show's host Tom McLaughlin was in the middle of a call when an earthquake struck. His caller in Baring, Me., felt it first, then Mr. McLaughlin seconds later. "Like a loud rumble, I don't know how to describe it - like a freight train," he said Monday afternoon. He waited for the song already playing - "99 Red Balloons for some guy up in Harvey, New Brunswick" - to end, then told listeners, "Everything just shook, I don't know what that was." "And then the phone lit up," with about 30 people calling. The Weston Observatory in Boston reported the earthquake's epicentre as 4.8 kilometres northeast of Ayers Junction - which Mr. McLaughlin said lies inside the town of Pembroke, 25-30 kilometres south of Calais on Route 1. It happened at 12:08:58 ADT (11:08:58 in Calais). The Weston observatory rated it as magnitude 3.4 on the Richter scale. Stephen Halchuk, a seismologist with the federal Department of Natural Resources, rated it at 3.5. Mr. Halchuk, speaking in a telephone interview from Ottawa, said that an aftershock at 12:40 p.m. ADT Sunday registered 2.2 - too slight for anybody to notice. However, people reported the original quake as far away as Mactaquac. "People experienced shaking like a heavy truck going by," Mr. Halchuk said. People reported feeling the quake in different places in Washington Co., Me., and Charlotte Co., N.B., including the sites for proposed liquified natural gas terminals in Maine. "Well, it rattled through Red Beach where one proposal is, and it shook down through Robbinston where the other proposal is," Mr. McLaughin said. He said people felt it at Baileyville, too, where the natural gas pipeline from Sable Island crosses the St. Croix River from New Brunswick into Maine.

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Mr. Halchuk in Ottawa said an earthquake of this magnitude would do very little if any damage, especially one like this that lasted only a few seconds, even though it was "big enough to make people notice." He said that eartquakes of this magnitude happen every few years in the Passamaquoddy Bay region. Gary Whiteford, a professor of geography at the University of New Brunswick, said the fact that earthquakes happen in this area at all should give pause to the proponents of LNG projects on Passamaquoddy Bay.

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