Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone
Alabama sits on the edge of the Eastern Tennessee seismic zone, which extends from south west Virginia to north east Alabama, is one of the most active earthquake areas in the Southeast.
Although the zone has not had a large earthquake in historic times, a few earthquakes have caused slight damage. The largest recorded earthquake in this seismic zone was a magnitude 4.6 that occurred in 1973 near Knoxville.
Sensitive seismographs have recorded hundreds of earthquakes too small to be felt in this seismic zone. Small, non-damaging, felt earthquakes occur about once a year.