March 15, 2003 Earthquake in Southern Maine

The New England Seismic Network reports that three very small earthquakes occurred on Saturday, March 15, 2003 in Standish, southern Maine.

The following parameters have been calculated for the earthquake:

Magnitude 2.2 Mn
Location 43 deg 41 min North latitude; 70 deg 40 min West longitude
Depth shallow (< 5 km)
This places the epicenter near the Limington-Hollis town line, about 15 miles west of Portland. Because of the very small size of the earthquake, there is a statistical uncertainty of about 1.5 miles associated with the location calculation from instrumental readings.

Further Information:

Weston Observatory calculates that the three events occurred over just a few minutes span.
10:45:19 p.m. magnitude 1.8
10:46:15 p.m. magnitude 2.2
10:51:32 p.m. magnitude 1.4
The first two were close to each other. The third, smallest event was several miles to the northeast, in the Standish-Steep Falls area.

The Maine Geological Survey received six felt reports through its on-line form, from the towns of Standish, Buxton, and Steep Falls. Those reports indicate Modified Mercalli Intensities of II to III in the immediate area. Three of the reports specifically mentioned noticing all three events, in agreement with the instrumental record.

Town Intensity
Buxton III
Standish III
Standish III
Standish II
Standish II
Steep Falls II

A brief news article about the earthquake was published in the Portland Press Herald on Monday, March 17, 2003.

Last updated on October 6, 2005