Professor explains reasons behind the Gulf of Mexico earthquake - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Professor explains reasons behind the Gulf of Mexico earthquake

A 4.6 magnitude earthquake happened less than 200 miles from South MS on May 6.  (Photo Source: earthquake.usgs.gov) A 4.6 magnitude earthquake happened less than 200 miles from South MS on May 6. (Photo Source: earthquake.usgs.gov)
GULF OF MEXICO (WLOX) -

A registered 4.6 magnitude earthquake happened less than 200 miles south of the Mississippi Coast on Sunday, May 6. 

According to Frank Heitmuller, Associate Professor of Geology at Southern Miss, an earthquake in that area isn't out of the ordinary. He says it's caused by sediments from the Mississippi River piled up over time.

“It just basically gets to a point where the weight is a little too much and there's a rupture in the sub surface, but it doesn't necessarily mean that there will be more frequent occurrences or any more powerful than the one that was recently felt,” Heitmuller explained. 

Heitmuller says it would take a much stronger earthquake to create any kind of tsunami threat, and that isn’t likely.

The strongest recorded earthquake on the Mississippi Coast happened in 1955 in Gulfport, and was strongly felt along a 30-mile strip of the Coast.

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