Once you chip away the snow that's packed in now, this crack right here looks like any other piece of pavement that has taken a beating from the elements. Except that it might be evidence of a frost quake.
"It actually sounded like there was a truck or something that hit the back of our office and I went out back to see if ice had fallen or something like that, but nothing there," says Enterprise employee Phil Seidel. "I was checking a car back in a little later in the afternoon and I actually tripped over this crack here."
Reporter: "And so you guys definitely didn't notice this before then?"
Seidel: "No, absolutely not."
Frost quakes, or cryoseisms, happen when rain soaks the ground and then a flash freeze sweeps in to harden it. When water freezes into ice it expands and can break the ground.
"You can hear a booming sound and you can feel the shaking. But it's very localized. These are very localized events because they're shallow events," says Vermont State Geologist Larry Becker. "You don't feel them over a wide area."
Though Becker says frost quakes are actually pretty common, it is rare for them to cause damage like you see in the Enterprise parking lot.
"In general these are not very energetic events," he says. "You don't see the breaks in the ground, they're underneath the snow, usually it's a shallow layer of snow cover."
Becker says the freezing rain from December's ice storm, followed by a sharp cold -- and with little snow cover on the ground to act as insulation-- were perfect conditions to create the quakes.
We've had hundreds of people writing in the last few weeks saying they have heard these mysterious booms, some wondering if trees had fallen, others saying that Jack Frost just might be knocking on their doors.
Becker says it's hard to say for sure that what people are hearing and what happened in the Enterprise parking lot are frost quakes because seismic reports have yet to confirm any. But what people describe fits the bill.
"It's not every year that you hear a lot of reports about them but we have seen them before in Vermont," he says.
Becker says people shouldn't be concerned. The quakes aren't strong enough to do much more than localized breaking of soil or rock or maybe knock something off a shelf. And more often than not they're a phenomeon you might hear, but you're probably not going to find any evidence.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:43:23 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
A trio of gun control measures may have gotten the green light from Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, but the charter changes face strong opposition across the state, and a possible uphill battle at the Statehouse.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:42:02 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.Members of the so-called Senate Climate Action Task Force -- nearly two dozen in allMore >>
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:40:46 GMT
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.The owner of the home on Pike Drive called for help a little after 9:30 a.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived theyMore >>
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:38:52 GMT
Jazz fingers, dance moves -- and plenty of passion. The Urban Reach Dance Convention is giving aspiring dancers the chance to learn from some of the music industry's most acclaimed teachers, who have workedMore >>
Aspiring dancers hit the floor this weekend at the 8th annual Urban Reach Dance Convention.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-03-09 22:08:59 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
Sunday morning CCTA officials announced that after a marathon negotiation session they delivered a complete contract proposal to the union.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:52:05 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend. His office says the Governor was at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. He is expected toMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend.More >>