The DGS maintains its own network of seismometers to detect local earthquake activity. Following an earthquake swarm in 1972, the DGS established its first seismometer station in Newark. The network now consists of five seismic stations spread across the state: three stations in the Newark-Wilmington area, one at the DEMA office in southern New Castle County, and one at the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center.
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Natural hazards are those events in the physical environment that present risks to human life or property. The DGS identifies and investigates natural hazards to help understand the earth systems that present the hazards and determine strategies to prepare for or mitigate the risks. We are active in advising emergency management agencies on natural hazards, and are included in the Delaware Emergency Operations Plan as an agency having a vital role in dealing with floods, northeaster/extratropical storms, droughts, earthquakes, sinkholes, and dam failures.
Earthquakes occur in northern Delaware and adjacent areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. Over 550 earthquakes have been documented within 150 miles of Delaware since 1677, and 69 earthquakes have been documented or suspected in Delaware since 1871.
The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) is a science-based, public-service-driven Delaware state agency at the University of Delaware (UD) that conducts geologic and hydrologic research, service, and exploration for the benefit of the citizens of the First State. The mission of the DGS is to provide objective earth science information, advice, and service to its stakeholders, the citizens, policy makers, industries, and educational institutions of Delaware.