Another earthquake recorded in South Dakota... because it’s 2020

A USGS map of earthquakes recorded in or near South Dakota since 1900. The larger the circle,...
A USGS map of earthquakes recorded in or near South Dakota since 1900. The larger the circle, the stronger the magnitude. Tuesday's quake near Bowdle is highlighted in Orange.(United States Geological Survey)
Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 10:56 AM MST
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BOWDLE, S.D. (KEVN) - UPDATE: Northern South Dakotans might have felt the Earth shake early this morning.

Outside of Bowdle, South Dakota, a 3.2 magnitude earthquake shook the area.

Sort of.

Although a startling magnitude for the location, a 3.2 is pretty minor. Earthquakes of this size happen about 100 thousand times a year on a global scale, but are rare around here.

“Most of the Midwest is what we consider interior earthquakes or continental interior earthquakes, so those are very rare just in general because they’re away from where all that action is, where the plate boundaries are,” said Kevin Ward, an assistant professor of geology at South Dakota Mines. “And so even though we are away from the action, given enough time, the Earth is an interesting and dynamic creature, that you will get these kind of earthquakes just about everywhere.”

A seismologist from the United States Geological Survey said earthquakes of a magnitude higher than 3 happen every other year or so here in South Dakota but the largest recorded was a 4.5 in 1911. A magnitude common for California.

It was tiny but it happened. A 3.2 magnitude earthquake shook a small South Dakota town Tuesday evening. Happy 2020.

It was minor in intensity, locals reported. Some residents of Bowdle, South Dakota felt it indoors however no damage was reported.

The quake’s depth was about 3.1 miles, according to the geological survey. No other details were immediately available.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 3.2 magnitude earthquake about 7.5 miles north-northwest of Bowdle, South Dakota at 11:59 Tuesday night.

According to the USGS, the quake is the second in South Dakota this year. There was a magnitude 2.5 earthquake north of Platte on Aug. 25.

Bowdle is a small town in Edmunds County, home to roughly 500 people, about 60 miles west of Aberdeen.

The largest earthquake recorded in South Dakota was a magnitude 4.5 quake south of Huron in 1911.

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