A small earthquake was reported Monday evening off of Gloucester and Marblehead.

The earthquake registered a 1.7 magnitude at 6:09 p.m., according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. A magnitude 2.5 to 3 quake is usually the smallest generally felt by people.

The earthquake's epicenter was around 42.457°N,  -70.567°W in the Gulf of Maine, about 11.2 miles south-southeast of Gloucester and 15 miles east-southeast of Marblehead at a depth of 3.5 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center. The tremblor was recorded by 11 U.S. Geological Survey stations, the agency said.

The earthquake probably occurred along a fault a couple of hundred feet long caused by the fracture of rocks, said John Bellini, a geophysicist with National Earthquake Information Center in Denver. He said the epicenter of a quake so small is "hard to locate precisely" and may have an error of about a mile.

He said Monday's quaker lasted a few seconds and there were no aftershocks.

"We haven't recorded anything in your area of the Northeast, except up in News Brunswick, in the last week," Bellini said. "We can't predict earthquakes, but any time where you have one, you could have another."

MEMA said no damage was reported. 

Andrea Holbrook may be contacted at 978-675-2713 or aholbrook@gloucestertimes.com

Recommended for you