According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered 8 miles south-southwest of Mineral, Va., close to the epicenter of the magnitude 5.8 quake that shook Virginia last August.
The earthquake struck at 11:21 p.m. EST, and was centered at a depth of 4.8 miles.
Shaking from the earthquake was reported as far away as Winchester.
There are no reports of any damage or injuries.
Earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., although less frequent than in the western U.S., are typically felt over a much broader region. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast.
A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source.