The loud booms heard across portions of the Tennessee Valley Thursday were the result of a seismic event called cryoseism, which is caused by the cracking of frozen soil or ice contained within …
The loud booms heard across portions of the Tennessee Valley Thursday were the result of a seismic event called cryoseism, which is caused by the cracking of frozen soil or ice contained within water-saturated rocks, according to meteorologists.
This area's booms, also called frost quakes, took place at approximately 11:30 a.m.
Although considered a seismic event, it was not an earthquake and does not register on the Richter scale, according to media reports.
The booms were reportedly heard in several other counties, including McMinn and Polk counties.
According to media reports, one Bradley County resident said the event rattled her house and windows.
She said it felt like an earthquake.
Inquiries regarding the event resulted in phone calls to the Cleveland-Bradley Emergency Management Administration, which posted a message on its Facebook page informing residents that the booms were not the result of an earthquake or explosion.
Residents took to social media to comment.
“It could have been a train going fast,” said one person.
“I haven’t heard anything,” said another.
“Anyone hear anything about an hour ago?” another person wrote.
In cold temperatures water seeps into the ground and freezes, placing stress on surrounding rocks or soil. The stress builds until it is relieved, sometimes causing a loud boom or cracking sound.
The ground is heavily saturated from recent heavy rains.
In 2018, the Tennessee Valley received over 67 inches of rain, with heavy rains occurring almost daily since the new year.
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