Expert: Frost quakes may be behind Wisconsin cracking sound

Jan. 9, 2014 at 6:01 PM   |   Comments

FAIRWATER, Wis., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Experts said a loud cracking sound that shook homes in Wisconsin may have been a cryoseism, or frost quake, from freezing ground water.

Residents of Fairwater, Markesan, Oakfield, Waupun, Campbellsport and Brandon in Fond du Lac County called authorities and posted on social media sites to report a loud cracking sound around 6 p.m. Tuesday that some said shook their homes, the Fond du Lac Reporter said Thursday.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office said officers investigated the reports, but were unable to identify the source of the sound.

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, seismologist Brett Ketter said the sound may have been a cryoseisms, commonly known as a frost quake or ice quake. He said the phenomenon results from water freezing and expanding in the soil and bedrock. The expanding builds pressure that eventually leads to a popping sound that can resemble an earthquake.

"We might hear more of that in the next couple of days as it gets warmer as that frozen water down there starts to melt," Ketter said. "Things might go back to where they were and it might create another pop."

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Bethany Beach packed two days before jazz funeral
Gamers 'prank' each other by calling in real life SWAT team, webcam captures fallout
Welsh man sets house on fire while trying to kill spider
Georgia fourth grader suspended after bringing Nerf gun to school
Dreamworks Dad is back with video game-inspired 'Action Movie Kid - Volume 2'
Trending News