3.6-magnitude earthquake felt in metro Detroit largest since 2015

Posted at 6:10 AM, Apr 20, 2018

The 3.6-magnitude earthquake felt in metro Detroit is the largest for the area since the 2015 earthquake that hit near Kalamazoo.

The quake was recorded Thursday near Amherstburg, Ontario, about 20 miles south of downtown Detroit. People from across the area felt the quake, especially in the Downriver communities.

In May 2015, a magnitude-4.2 earthquake was recorded in Kalamazoo County and felt across the state with reports coming to the U.S. Geological Survey from Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ontario.

Larry Ruff, a seismologist with the University of Michigan, said the earthquake in 2015 was the state's largest since 1947 when a 4.6-magnitude quake hit near the town of Coldwater.

"We feel a lot of relatively small earthquakes in the state, but most of them occur to the south of Michigan," Ruff said in 2015. "So to have an earthquake of this magnitude with the epicenter in Michigan is very unusual."

Eric Hetland, a geophysicist at the university, said earthquakes in Michigan are rare but not unexpected.

The May 2015 earthquake also revealed a geological fault line in southwest Kalamazoo County, which appeared to have caused the quake. Kazuya Fujita, a geosciences professor at Michigan State University, told the Associated Press at the time that the fault line may have also caused the 1947 Coldwater earthquake.

Another earthquake hit Michigan just a month later. The  3.3-magnitude earthquake struck 13 miles southeast of Battle Creek on June 30, 2015.