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Canadians Reporting Loud Booms Caused By ‘Frost Quakes’

posted 6 Jan 2014, 08:13 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 6 Jan 2014, 08:13 ]

Canada (Next Media) -  People across Canada are reporting hearing loud booming noises caused by a weather phenomenon known as frost quakes.

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A frost quake, or cryoseism, might feel like a localized earthquake but is actually a non-tectonic event caused when water seeps into the soil and bedrock after a heavy rainstorm or snow and then freezes when the temperatures fall rapidly. The water expands when it freezes, which puts pressure on the surrounding soil and bedrock. The pressure from the expanding ice eventually causes the soil and bedrock to crack, creating a loud noise and occasionally shaking the ground.

The sudden release of energy feels like a localized earthquake. Sometimes a seismograph can detect the activity when the ground cracks close enough to the device.

SOURCES: Business Insider, CBC News Toronto