It turns out there’s actually quite a bit of seismic activity in New York state:
Still, it’s not where geologists expect quakes in New York. Quake central has been the Adirondacks, the site, for instance, of a magnitude 5.5 quake in 1944 near Massena that had residents thinking they had been attacked by the Japanese. Second, and most worrisome, has been the New York City area, where a quake off the Rockaways in 1884 registered 5.3. A similar quake there today would do substantial damage.
So when Lynn experiences an earthquake in Westchester County on the outskirts of Gordath Wood, hey, it didn’t have to be a gateway between worlds opening up at all.
With a rising rumble that came straight out of the woods, the ground rolled violently. Horses whinnied and the trailers and trucks swayed and shuddered. Lynn fell hard on her butt. Dungiven scrambled backward off the unsteady ramp in a tangle of legs and blankets, lost his balance, and went down. Lynn’s involuntary cry was lost in the bone-shaking roar of the earthquake. Finally, finally, the quake tapered off and died.
The story could have totally gone in a completely different direction, in which Lynn, who has a double major in geology and horsemanship from Cornell (possible? Not possible? Cornell grads weigh in!), solves the mystery of why earthquakes of increasing intensity have been occurring around the globe.
Then again, a gateway between worlds is no more ridiculous than this theory.