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Earthquake near Red Hill Conservation Area

May 4, 2023

Where were you on the morning of April 25th? If you were near LRCT’s Red Hill Conservation Area, you may have heard some strange noises and felt the earth move under your feet…

At 9:49 am, central New Hampshire experienced a magnitude 2.9 earthquake, followed by a magnitude 1.8 aftershock four minutes later. The epicenter was right below Eagle Cliff in Center Sandwich, on property conserved through ownership by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests and a conservation easement held by LRCT.

After discovering that some had witnessed ledge spalling off of Eagle Cliff, Tracey Olafsen of Sandwich went out and hiked around the area until she found both a rock slide of about 150’ and (closer to the trail) a boulder that had dislodged and bounced down the mountain. In the photos, you can see where the boulder was dislodged and tumbled down the mountain, leaving tree scars and divots in its path before coming to a stop. 

Thank you, Tracey, for sharing your photos!

Red Hill rock_earthquake
Original location of the boulder

NH has experienced a total of 5 earthquakes so far this year. Although earthquakes here are not uncommon, a 2.9 magnitude quake is on the higher end of what usually occurs in the area. According to the US Geological Survey, the strongest earthquake recorded in NH since 1900 occurred over 80 years ago on December 24th, 1940, in Tamworth, with a magnitude of 5.6!

Red Hill tree marks from rock_earthquake
The boulder's path
Red Hill rock
The boulder's new resting place

Learn more about New Hampshire’s earthquakes on the US Geological Survey (USGS) website.