Earth Quakes

Swarm of earthquakes rattles old plantation area of Alabama, leaving seismic experts befuddled

  • This Tuesday, June 9, 2016, photo shows an abandoned building near Eutaw, Ala., where there have been reporter earthquakes. More than a dozen weak earthquakes have followed in the seven months since in west Alabama's rural Greene County, and geologists are trying to figure out what is causing the seismic swarm in an area of the South more prone to tornadoes than earthquakes. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

    This Tuesday, June 9, 2016, photo shows an abandoned building near Eutaw, Ala., where there have been reporter earthquakes. More than a dozen weak earthquakes have followed in the seven months since in west Alabama's rural Greene County, and geologists are trying to figure out what is causing the seismic swarm in an area of the South more prone to tornadoes than earthquakes. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, June 9, 2016, photo, Jim Sterling stands in a hardware store where he works in Eutaw, Ala. Sterling talks about earthquakes at his home, “I heard a boom and felt the shaking,” Sterling said. “It really upset me.”   More than a dozen weak earthquakes have followed in the seven months since in west Alabama's rural Greene County, and geologists are trying to figure out what is causing the seismic swarm in an area of the South more prone to tornadoes than earthquakes.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

    In this Tuesday, June 9, 2016, photo, Jim Sterling stands in a hardware store where he works in Eutaw, Ala. Sterling talks about earthquakes at his home, β€œI heard a boom and felt the shaking,” Sterling said. β€œIt really upset me.” More than a dozen weak earthquakes have followed in the seven months since in west Alabama's rural Greene County, and geologists are trying to figure out what is causing the seismic swarm in an area of the South more prone to tornadoes than earthquakes. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Tuesday, June 9, 2016, photo, a post office stands in West Greene, Ala., where there have been reports of earthquakes.  More than a dozen weak earthquakes have followed in the seven months since in west Alabama's rural Greene County, and geologists are trying to figure out what is causing the seismic swarm in an area of the South more prone to tornadoes than earthquakes.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

    In this Tuesday, June 9, 2016, photo, a post office stands in West Greene, Ala., where there have been reports of earthquakes. More than a dozen weak earthquakes have followed in the seven months since in west Alabama's rural Greene County, and geologists are trying to figure out what is causing the seismic swarm in an area of the South more prone to tornadoes than earthquakes. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)  (The Associated Press)

Experts are trying to figure out what's behind a string of weak earthquakes in rural western Alabama.

Records from the U.S. Geological Survey show 14 quakes have occurred since Nov. 20 in Alabama's Greene County, west of Tuscaloosa.

A state earthquake expert says researchers have installed a seismic monitor in the area, northwest of Eutaw, looking for a cause. The tremors could be tied to underground faults that were found in recent years, but experts don't suspect a link to oil or gas production.

No major damage has occurred, but residents are uneasy. Homeowner Jim Sterling says he didn't know what had hit his 156-year-old antebellum home when the first quake occurred in late November.

The most recent quake struck June 6. All have been a magnitude 3.8 or weaker.