April 29, 1997 Earthquake in Central Maine

The New England Seismic Network reports (Doll, 1997) that an earthquake occurred on Tuesday, April 29, 1997, at 5:24 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

The following parameters have been calculated for the earthquake:

Magnitude 3.0 (Coda magnitude, after Chaplin, M.P., et al.,1980)
Location 44.534 North latitude, 70.277 West longitude.
Depth 13 miles (20.7 kilometers)
This places the epicenter about 3.6 miles (5.8 kilometers) northwest of Jay.

Further Information:

The solution is calculated from data recorded at 13 seismic stations in Maine, New Hampshire, eastern Massachusetts, and Quebec. The only operational Maine station was at Milo. Horizontal standard error is 0.9 miles (1.4 km); Depth standard error is 1.4 miles (2.3 km).

The solution described above (Doll, 1997) is revised from the initial MIT report, which placed the epicenter 6 km northwest of Jay.

Slightly different solutions are given for this event by Weston Observatory in their on-line catalog (1990-1999), which gives a location of 44.59N, 70.36W, depth of 5.0 km, and magnitude of 2.8. Notice that Weston calculates a shallower depth and slightly smaller magnitude than MIT.


Doll, Charles, Jr., 1997, Study of New England seismicity with emphasis on Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Quarterly Progress Report and Earthquake Bulletin, April-June 1997: Earth Resources Lab, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 18 p.

Chaplin, M.P., Taylor, S.R., and Toksz, M.N. (1980), A coda length magnitude scale for New England, Earthquake Notes, v. 51, p. 15-22.

Last updated on April 27, 2012