Abstract

For a given maximum intensity, most earthquakes of the Eastern United States are felt over much wider area than their western counterparts. Several of these eastern shocks, have, because of their relatively low maximum intensities, received little or no attention in seismological literature. Three such earthquakes will be described in terms of contemporary accounts: those of March 9, 1828, April 29, 1852, and of August 31, 1861. In no case did the maximum intensity exceed about VI on the Mercalli Scale, yet each was felt over many thousands of square miles. The 1828 shock affected at least 190,000 square miles, and was reported from Pennsylvania to South Carolina. That of 1852 affected about 187,000 square miles, and was reported from New York to North Carolina. That of 1861 affected at least 280,000 square miles, and was reported from Maryland to the Georgia-Alabama border. All three were felt from the Atlantic Coastal Plain westward into Ohio.

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