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Earthquakes in the Midwest are just aftershocks from 200 years ago.

 
Anonymous Coward
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11/14/2009 05:00 AM
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Earthquakes in the Midwest are just aftershocks from 200 years ago.
A bunch of BS is being delivered to the people to keep them dumb and quiet.

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Thursday, November 5th 2009, 12:58 PM

The deafening roar of the ground beneath you shaking the timbers, the rumbling of tectonic plates and crackling sound of collapsing infrastructure during an earthquake -- but if youíre in Midwest America, new evidence suggests thereís no need to worry, itís just an aftershock.

A new study by researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Missouri-Columbia shows that smaller and medium-size quakes in the central U.S. are aftershocks of stronger earthquakes that plagued the region more than 200 years ago. Contrary to public phobia, these earthquakes are not indicative of a bigger, stronger quake to come.

The Missouri region in particular has been hit by small and medium earthquakes in the past couple of years, including a 5.2 magnitude quake in 2008. Scientists say these are aftershock repercussions from the 1800s.

In the most intense U.S. shake-down to date, a series of earthquakes reaching an 8.0 magnitude struck New Madrid, Missouri, in 1811 and 1812. The seismic convulsions were enough to make the Mississippi River appear to run backwards.

But residents of New Madrid donít need to worry about stronger quakes, the researchers say. Findings suggest that earthquakes in the region are getting progressively smaller ó a characteristic of aftershocks.

According to rock friction theory, developed by the authors of the report, the subsequent rumbles have lasted 200 years because the slower a fault moves, the longer the aftershocks last.

The San Andreas Fault in California moves relatively fast at about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) per year, resulting in only 10 years of aftershocks, Seth Stein, the study's lead author and a professor of geological sciences at Northwestern University told MSNBC.

However, the fault in New Madrid, known as the Realfoot Right, moves 100 times slower, thus the residents of New Madrid are still feeling its effects two centuries later.

But the good news is it wonít last much longer.

"That fault system seems to be shutting down, and if so, we may be looking at maybe thousands of years before we have [large] earthquakes on that particular fault again," Stein told MSNBC.

The study will be published in the Nov. 5 issue of the journal Nature.
[link to www.nydailynews.com]





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