Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake Rattles Panhandle Region
Did you feel the ground shake earlier this evening? Around 6:54 p.m., a 4.3 magnitude earthquake recorded near Skellytown has folks across the panhandle going "what was that?!"
So far, we don't have any reports of damage and it's certainly not unusual for earthquakes to take place here in the Panhandle region. This quake happens to be the largest one in the area in some time, the last time we had a Magnitude 4+ Earthquake was back in October 2018 that hit about 15 miles out of town. By the way if you're wondering 5.4 is as big as it's gotten so far back in 1925.
By the way, this wasn't the only shaking in Texas today. A much smaller magnitude 2.7 earthquake hit Culberson County in the West Texas town of White's City roughly 140 miles east of El Paso.
Are there more coming?
There's always the question of are there more coming and honestly with a magnitude 4.3 earthquake there are no doubt aftershocks that will come but most of these will be so small in magnitude that most of us won't feel them. This is due to nature of pressures being released as the ground settles from the main tremor.
So why do they happen here in the Texas Panhandle?
Much of the Texas Panhandle, despite it's flat appearance today, has been subject to great change in its geologic history. And by 'geologic past', this includes mountain building events in the Proterozoic and Pre Cenozoic time periods which includes formations and ranges like the Proto-Rocky Mountains, the Ouachitas and associated uplifts like the Amarillo, Wichita and others in more recent times. Even thought the mountains have long since eroded away the stresses and remaining faults related to these events are still very much with us and sometimes the only clues we have about where these formations and ancient faults lie are the earthquakes themselves that rock our region.