Skip to comments.2 Centuries After New Madrid Quakes, What's Next?
Posted on 12/16/2011 5:45:35 PM PST by SmithL
The United States was still a young nation when three major earthquakes rocked the central Mississippi River valley in the winter of 1811-1812.
Chimneys fell, the earth heaved and church bells rang hundreds of miles away, set off by the powerful vibrations from what is now called the New Madrid Seismic Zone. As farmland rolled and shuddered, the shock waves spread as far as New York and the Carolinas.
Now on the 200th anniversary of those devastating quakes, some seismologists are warning that the region should be on guard because of the risk that another "Big One" could strike the region within the next 50 years.
"There have been past big earthquakes, there will be future big earthquakes," said California-based seismologist Mary Lou Zoback, who released a report Dec. 7 on the "seismic hazard" inherent in the New Madrid fault. "It's a reminder that we need to keep this in mind and do what we can to prepare."
The quakes on Dec. 16, 1811, and Jan. 23 and Feb. 7 of 1812 were among the strongest in U.S. history. Their magnitudes have been estimated to have ranged from 7.7 to 8.1, though some seismologists have suggested the magnitudes should be lower, closer to the 7 to 7.6 range.
They centered around the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a 150-mile stretch of land between Memphis and St. Louis that crosses parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. The zone produced major earthquakes dating to around 1450 A.D., 900 A.D., 300 A.D. and even further back.
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I thought that the NM has gone off in the last ~30 yr.
The Gubmint checks sent out to those devasted areas must have run into the half dimes.
The last time New Madrid rocked, it created Reelfoot lake and rang church bells all the way in Boston.
“I thought that the NM has gone off in the last ~30 yr.”
I don’t think so.
There have been very minor tremors over the years.
The last that I felt was in the mid 70s.
Some years after that, the big Earthquake guru (don’t remember is name) predicted a big quake for the area but it never materialized.
There was a big TV special (Natl. Geo?) on Earthquakes just last week...quite frightening.
There was considerable time devoted to the New Madrid fault.
I had a stack of tires fall over in my garage. I’ll have to look it up.
Does not sound like a seismic event.
Probably just got tired.
As I understand there were also reports of the Mississippi running backwards.
Iben Browning circa 1990. There WAS a 4.5 or so here locally, and the rush of media swamped New Madrid. The “big one” never came though.
Browning also believed that global cooling was coming as well.
I live on the outer edge of the NMF line and where the experts believe our little place will be the closest that will not have extensive infrastructure damage. The Disaster Preparedness plan for this area to take in refugees from Memphis and the Northern Mississippi area to be cared for here. I am not too happy about this.
NEW 3.0 EARTHQUAKE IN ARKANSAS NEW MADRID FAULT LINE 8 Quakes in total TODAY.
New Madrid Earthquake ^ | October 10, 2010
Posted on Sun Oct 10 2010 19:13:53 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by SumProVita
Now I see that we'll have to stay in a Holiday Inn Express so I can solve everything the day after.
But, uh, just in cased they're booked, do you like football on Sundays and Thursday night "family" Scrabble games???
Seismologists are starting to get some lead time, even days, at least for truly huge earthquakes.
“This is called the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling mechanism. The thinking is that in the days before an earthquake, the great stresses in a fault as it is about to give cause the releases large amounts of radon.
“The radioactivity from this gas ionises the air on a large scale and this has a number of knock on effects. Since water molecules are attracted to ions in the air, ionisation triggers the large scale condensation of water.
“But the process of condensation also releases heat and it is this that causes infrared emissions.”
So the question becomes: “If you can notify people in an area to expect a great earthquake in a day or two, do you order an evacuation that will cost millions of dollars, leaving just emergency services behind on safer ground?”
Actually, George W. Bush created some enormous FEMA contingency plans for just this sort of event, after Katrina. These include relocation camps for thousands of people, which the more paranoid suspected of being internment camps, and the government was not smart enough to explain their real purpose.”
“NEW 3.0 EARTHQUAKE IN ARKANSAS NEW MADRID FAULT LINE 8 Quakes in total TODAY.”
I have not been there since 2008, so I would not know about the small tremors.
They are probably good, and help the faults from becoming “locked”.
The real and massive earthquakes are from locked faults that
finally let loose with a big bang.
There hasn’t been a big one for 200 years. You will hear about little tremors every now and then.
7.1 off New Guinea is that a tremor
its the big yellow one
look at all the others around
awww - don’t worry. I’m sure it will happen on a pleasant june morning instead of in the middle of a missouri ice storm in january....