An extended drought, heavy thunderstorms and lightning followed by floods or tornadoes most likely rank at the top of their natural disaster concerns.
Be that as it may, Precinct 1 Commissioner Bill Neve has agreed to let the Ohio State University College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences gather local data from his home as part of the school’s long-term scientific studies devoted to earthquakes.
The studies are part of the university’s “Earth Scope” program, Neve said.
“They are going to dig a hole in my pasture and put some seismic instruments into it,” Neve added.
Operating on solar power, the instruments will produce high-resolution images and keep track of movement and shifts of the Earth’s crust and mantle along a grid across the United States for about three years, Neve said.
He granted the university permission to plant the instruments on his property at no charge, Neve said.
“They have already finished building a grid along the West Coast,” Neve added. “Each point in the grid has to be a certain amount of miles apart, and they just need one in this area.”
Earthquakes have occurred in Texas and nearby regions, even though they have not been a major historical threat to Texans, according to the University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a minor earthquake about 255 miles northwest of Austin. The tremors produced a number of 2.7 near the low end of the Richter magnitude scale, which assigns a number to measure the amount of energy released by an earthquake.
Minor earthquakes are recorded but seldom felt, according to USGS officials.
Also according to survey officials, the most significant earthquake in Texas occurred in 1931, when tremors produced a Richter scale magnitude of 5.8. Although scientists believed it was a relatively moderate earthquake, the tremors still severely damaged cemeteries, homes and schools in Valentine, and officials reported more property damage in Brewster, Culberson, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties.
For more information on the Ohio State Earth Scope study, visit www.earthscope.org.