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New Madrid Seismic Zone

 
Anonymous Coward
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07/25/2010 12:33 PM
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New Madrid Seismic Zone
New Madrid Seismic Zone
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The New Madrid Seismic Zone (pronounced /njuː ˈmædrɨd/), sometimes called the New Madrid Fault Line, is a major seismic zone and a prolific source of intraplate earthquakes (earthquakes within a tectonic plate) in the southern and midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Missouri.

The New Madrid fault system was responsible for the 1811–1812 New Madrid earthquakes and may have the potential to produce large earthquakes in the future. Since 1812 frequent smaller earthquakes were recorded in the area.[1]

Earthquakes that occur there potentially threaten parts of seven U.S. states: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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07/25/2010 12:34 PM
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Re: New Madrid Seismic Zone
Potential for future earthquakes

In a report filed in November 2008, The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that a serious earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone could result in "the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States," further predicting "widespread and catastrophic" damage across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and particularly Tennessee, where a 7.7 magnitude quake or greater would cause damage to tens of thousands of structures affecting water distribution, transportation systems, and other vital infrastructure.[21]

The potential for the recurrence of large earthquakes and their impact today on densely populated cities in and around the seismic zone has generated much research devoted to understanding in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. By studying evidence of past quakes and closely monitoring ground motion and current earthquake activity, scientists attempt to understand their causes and recurrence intervals.
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