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Hey Ray: Frostquakes and Cryoseism

Hey Ray: Frostquakes
Hey Ray: Frostquakes 02:02

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - When it gets really, really cold in the winter, some weird things can happen. Loud booms are sometimes heard and sometimes the extremely cold temperatures can cause the earth to shake!  These shakes and booms are from what are known as "Frost Quakes."

A frosty 'Burgh Ray Petelin

Frost forms when temperatures fall quickly. That is how frostquakes get their name. 

Quickly falling temperature to extremely cold levels causes rapid freezing to occur. Remember that water expands when it freezes. 

That is one of the important ingredients to frost quakes.

Those rapidly freezing temperatures cause water in the ground to rapidly freeze. The new ice that is formed expands and puts extra pressure on the frozen soil and bedrock. 

This is how "frostquakes" happen! KDKA Weather Center

This pressure builds and builds until the frozen soil and rocks crack!

Frostquakes sound cool but this is what they're actually called! Ray Petelin

Once that crack occurs, the pressure is released. That can cause loud booms and even cause the ground to shake. All because of the extreme cold! The official name of a frostquake is Cryoseism.  

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