I can’t believe I had a chance to experience my FIRST EVER EARTHQUAKE… and I missed it!
Apparently the shaking was so slight here in central PA that anyone outside walking around couldn’t feel it, but normally on a Tuesday afternoon I would be sitting at a desk on the fifth floor of a building full of geologists and would TOTALLY have felt it (my labmate did!) plus gotten to share in the excitement. But alas, I picked Tuesday of all days to play hooky in the afternoon and go for a long trail run with my friend Christy in preparation for the Dam Half next month. We were in the car when it happened and didn’t feel a thing. The weather was perfect for running in the woods so I guess it was a good choice, but maybe missing the earthquake was karma for skipping school :)
For my non-geologist friends and family, the USGS pages on the earthquake (which they have for every significant quake) are interesting if you’re looking for a source of scientific info. I think their crowd-sourced “Did you feel it?” feature is especially interesting for this one, since a gajillion* people reported it both because it occurred in a region with a relatively dense population and good Internet access, and because it really was felt across a much wider area than comparable quakes out West; the old, cold, minimally fractured crust east of the Rockies transmits shaking much more effectively than younger, deformed crust to the west.
Edit: IRIS also has some neat summary info about the quake on their website (scroll down a bit) which would be helpful if you’re teaching about it!
Yet another edit: I know everyone else except geologists is probably over the earthquake/has moved on to talking about Irene, but I just found two more awesome sources: this blog post is really interesting and thorough, and (I think this one is even more awesome because I’m a huge map geek) this really sweet map that overlays the epicenter, local bedrock geology & faults onto Google Maps. Definitely worth checking out.