What is an ‘Earthquake Boom’?

By | April 9, 2010

What is an Earthquake Boom

What is an ‘Earthquake Boom’?

Earthquake Boom is a very loud, deep sounding explosion, which emanates from the earth. If directly above emanation, directional determination may be difficult as sound is not from a distinct direction as it is from a wide area of earth’s surface. It is a higher frequency audio form of the traditional shaking earthquake even though current seismographs cannot ‘see’ or ‘record’ them. Scalar devices are able to clearly ‘see’ these events along with the rest of the earthquake ‘family’ of earth-generated events such as the ‘silent’ or ‘slow’ earthquake. Another relative to the ‘family’ is the earth ‘lurch’ and a ‘fast version of slow’ earthquake – these yet to be discovered by mainstream science.

These loud explosions have been witnessed by many over the years. They also accompany traditional earthquakes as these are part of the mix of seismic activity (earthquake & earthquake boom).City residents of Spokane Washington in the summer of 2001 experienced a classic series of explosions (earthquake booms) and earthquakes in a flurry of shallow earthquake swarms. Seismologists were unable to record these booming events on seismographs.

A mysterious swarm of earthquakes unnerves Spokane

“Long after the last Fourth of July firecracker burst in Spokane, nerve-rattling explosions still shake the city. There has been a swarm of earthquakes that boom like dynamite, surprising residents and seismologists alike.â€

Recently, a loud explosion in South Carolina again follows the classic signature of the rare type of event – no seismograph recordings, no supersonic aircraft around to create sonic boom, and very loud (other proposed theories include suggested sea floor gas release or other phenomena related to historical ‘Seneca Guns’). However, earthquake booms are real events and occur from within the crust. These events also may occur in regions without a fault or without a seismically active region.

Charleston Post and Courier
Sonic boom? Earthquake? Big bang theories abound

    “The earthquake experts say it wasn’t a shaker, and military authorities say they didn’t have the kind of planes in the air that can make a sonic boom.â€

    “But whatever it was, the noise that rattled Lowcountry communities about 1:30 p.m. Friday commanded a lot of attention.â€

    “There was this extremely loud, percussive noise,” said Reynolds Pommering of Mount Pleasant. “My sister (on James Island) said she heard it, too, and that’s eight miles across as the crow flies. I first thought somebody had run into the building.”â€

Will these explosions mean an eruption is imminent?

If near volcanoes or volcanic region, the ‘earthquake boom’ is just another form of an earthquake with the energy of a small size quake. Yes, the explosion sound is very impressive and can lead to concern. Yet only larger earthquakes would be reason for scrutiny of developing conditions (USGS volcanic observatories have a wealth of instrumentation available for analysis of any developing activity related to U.S. volcanoes. Refer to excellent reference & up to date status at:


2 thoughts on “What is an ‘Earthquake Boom’?

  1. Lana Hunt


    Earthquake in Indiana. What was ironic about this earthquake is that is not what everyone initially thought where I was 50 miles away from the epicenter. In Indianapolis I heard an great explosive sound that shook the foundation of the building. The sound was what impacted. It was crazy. I didn’t really feel much tremor beneath my feet. I felt the impact of what an explosion would feel like. Yet no one seems to be talking about this boom. I want to know what this boom means. I want to know why it happened here in the middle of Indiana. It’s not enough to give a general definition of the Boom in earthquakes. I want to know how this boom applies to Indiana specifically. As terrifying as it sounded professionals should be more prepared to answer people’s questions.

    One person stated that explosive booms could be caused by a fracturing from drilling? Does anyone know why they would be drilling in Greentown which is right out in the middle of cornfield U.S.A. ? I live 50 miles south in Indianapolis from where the epicenter was located. I felt that explosive boom as if an explosion took place in my office building or the one next door. The last time I felt a jolt like that and heard a similar boom was when the Kokomo grainery blew up. That grainery was not even a mile from house. That impact sounded just like what I heard that morning of the earthquake.

    Now I realize the magnitude of this earthquake was nothing compared to other more serious earthquakes. But this is not normal. I’ve been through several earthquakes in Indiana before. None of them began with a boom. The huge jolt that shook our building yesterday isn’t something I have ever felt in any earthquake. I have felt earthquakes in California, Arkansas and Indiana. Can anyone give me an instance where they had mistaken what they felt and heard as an explosion when only to find out it was just an earthquake.

    Just an earthquake. In the middle of the heartland….with a strange boom….in a place where the Boom over Indiana was heard a couple of years ago and created such a stir that it has been documented for television on several channels such as the History Channel and other channels. However, that boom was not explained as an earthquake and it was not documented to have been felt as far as Ohio or Michigan. However it was felt, heard and seen over a 50 mile radius
    south of Kokomo all the way to Westfield Indiana. That’s about 40 miles.

    A mysterious boom is just not common no matter which state you live in. A mild earthquake may be common. And I have been in several. But I know the difference between an explosive impact that starts with a boom and a common earth tremor. I just want to understand why this earthquake felt and sounded so different. I wouldn’t be here with questions if I had felt this was just another common earthquake. This was anything but common…even if the magnitude was not great. They did manage to downgrade it from a 4 pointer to a 3 pointer. And I would like to understand that as well.

    Those who feel it necessary to insult people from Indiana by calling them hicks with an inferiority complex really just need to grow up. I suppose people who feel it necessary to insult people either are doing so for two reasons. One: they are just doing a job by creating meaningless rhetorical nonsense so as to throw everyone off any real issue that could be addressed intelligently. Or two: they don’t know how to be courteous.

    I would just like an answer from a person who knows about seismology. It’s very interesting to me that this would be the first time I had ever mistaken an earthquake for an explosion. And Indiana of all places. Can anyone tell me if the shallow depth of this activity be the cause of such an explosive boom?

    I really appreciate the people who are lending some intelligence to the topic.

    1. Xeno Post author

      Did you look up the readings for your event to see how deep it was? Could be many things… My favorite explanation is the givernment using atomic bombs to make underground hollow places which will become secret bases, but other than the fact that this was done a long time ago in Nevada, I have no real reason to suspect it is going on under you. Got a Geiger counter?

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