Powerful New England quake recorded in pond mud | Science News

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Powerful New England quake recorded in pond mud

The layers of a sediment core show a change around the time of the 1755 Cape Ann earthquake

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12:48pm, March 27, 2018
Sluice Pond sediment core

MUDDY RECORD Researchers retrieve a sediment core from the bottom of Sluice Pond in eastern Massachusetts. The sediments contain evidence of an 18th century earthquake.

The history of New England’s most damaging earthquake is written in the mud beneath a Massachusetts pond. Researchers identified the first sedimentary evidence of the Cape Ann earthquake, which in 1755 shook the East Coast from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. The quake, estimated to have been at least magnitude 5.9, took no lives but damaged hundreds of buildings.

Within a mud core retrieved from the bottom of Sluice Pond in Lynn, Mass., a light brown layer of sediment stands out amid darker layers of organic-rich sediment, the researchers report March 27 in Seismological Research Letters. The 2-centimeter-thick layer contains tiny fossils usually found near the shore, as well as types of

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