Does the rate of earthquakes increase during the cold weather?
Although cold temperatures greatly affect the ground near the surface, it has no effect at greater depths. Near the surface, freeze and thaw cycles can weaken and break rock due to high water pressure. However, this is a phenomenon limited to near surface soil. Consider a mine: the temperature inside the mine will be influenced by surface temperature only for about the first 50 m. Deeper in the mine the temperature will be influenced by the internal heat of the earth – a temperature that is relatively constant throughout the year. The hypocentre (the place where displacement occurs along a rock fracture) of an earthquake is generally located several km below the surface (on average, between 5-30 km in Eastern Canada), where the surface temperature would have no influence. For example, the hypocentre of the 1988 Saguenay earthquake occurred at a depth of 28 km where the temperature is approximately constant at 300°C year round. Furthermore, the principle causes of earthquakes (movement