Knoxville - The U.S. Geological Survey confirms three earthquakes struck the Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

USGS officials say the first was a 2.0 magnitude quake epicentered along the Tennessee-North Carolina border, about nine miles southeast of Tellico Plains in the Nantahal National Forest. It started just after 5:13 PM and was located in a fault measured to be 5.2 miles beneath a ridge near Elbow Creek.

The second quake occurred at 9:03 PM. USGS says it was a 2.7 magnitude quake and was epicentered about four miles southeast of Vonore, in an open field between Tomotley Road and the Little Tennessee River. The quake originated in a fault measured at a depth of exactly four miles underneath the epicenter.

The final quake occurred early Sunday morning at 2:24 AM. USGS says it had a magnitude of 1.1 and was epicentered four miles east of Sweetwater, in a wooded area near the intersections of Forner Chapel Road and Highway 322. The fault was located 11.2 miles beneath the epicenter.

All three earthquakes came on the heels of a 2.4 magnitude quake epicentered about two miles northwest of Maryville on Friday morning.

The Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone is considered one of the most active earthquake areas in the Southeast, meaning quakes can occur at anytime in the region. More than a dozen small quakes have been measured across East Tennessee over the last eight months.

At least three earthquakes occurred over seven days in late December 2008. All three had epicenters located within 75 miles of TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant, leading to some minor speculation that the series of quakes possibly played a role in the December 22nd coal ash spill.