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New Tool at Hanson Quarry to Speed Up Blast Recording Process

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski announces new seismograph at Hanson Quarry in McCook will provide quicker recordings to the USGS after the Nov. 4 earthquake that shook the western suburbs.

Credit: Patch file photo
Credit: Patch file photo

A new seismograph installed at the Hanson Materials Quarry in McCook to expedite the process of recording and uploading readings to the USGS after a Nov. 4 earthquake that shook several communities, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) announced Thursday. 

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Lipinski this week met with the Lyons Township Quarry Advisory Council—composed of local communities and McCook quarry operators—to discuss how the investigation into what caused the earth to shake Nov. 4 should proceed, according to a news release from Lipinski's office. Northwestern University partnered with the USGS to install the seismograph, according to the release.

"The seismograph will provide the first comprehensive information on seismic activity in the area," according to the release. Prior to the Nov. 4 event, the only seismic activity at the quarry being recorded was limited, and performed by Hanson Materials immediately before, during, and after scheduled blastings. 

“More than a month after the event that alarmed so many throughout our communities, it is clear that the answers to some of the key questions will take time and significant study," Lipinski said in a statement. "This seismograph is one piece to help us solve the puzzle as to why these events have occurred and, most important, what can be done to prevent them from happening again."

The 3.2 magnitude tremor was recorded at a seismograph in Lake County seven seconds after a much smaller blast at the McCook quarry. It ultimately was determined by USGS to be an earthquake likely caused by normal, legal activities at the quarry. A similar event also occurred in 2010.

Hanson Materials has not performed blasting since the incident and does not anticipate resuming until spring, according to the release. The company has promised the neighboring communities that it will inform them if and when blasting does resume. 

Information courtesy of a news release from Rep. Dan Lipinski's office. 

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