Chicago’s Frost Quakes
Winter weather won’t let up on Chicago, Illinois, as they experienced a series of booms referred to as Frost Quakes.
Frost Quakes (also known as Ice Quakes or Cryoseism) are defined by Wikipedia as a “seismic event that may be caused by a sudden cracking action in frozen soil or rock saturated with water or ice.” As moisture drains down into the ground, eventually freezing may occur causing it to expand under cold temperatures. Once the stress builds up, it is relieved explosively with a loud series of booming noises. There is another type of cryoseism which is a not tectonic seismic and is caused by sudden glacial movements. The saturated ground freezes rapidly when temperatures fall rapidly and the ground shifts, relocating and even splitting open rocks while putting stress on the now hardened soil, which causes loud noises and isolated damage.