Big quake might ravage U.S. Midwest

Apr 13, 2006

Some seismologists are reportedly concerned a major earthquake occurring in the middle of the nation might devastate the U.S. Midwest.

The New Madrid seismic zone -- where Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee meet -- is in the middle of the North American tectonic plate, National Geographic News reported Wednesday. The zone has three to five faults stretching about 120 miles.

Geophysicist Mark Zoback at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., has studied the New Madrid system for three decades and told NGN although major quakes have previously occurred in that area, modern cities in the New Madrid zone are not prepared for such an event and could be destroyed in a major earthquake.

Long-term records suggest large earthquakes have occurred infrequently in the New Madrid area during the last 65 million years -- approximately once every million years. But Zoback told NGN the short-term record suggests there have been at least two, and perhaps as many as four, magnitude 7 events during the last 2,000 years.

Zoback and his colleagues presented their findings in February, during a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

European taxi protest: Transport tech upheaval

Jun 11, 2014

Roads snarled in London, Paris and several other major European cities Wednesday as taxi drivers and train workers protested new technology they say endangers passengers and gives upstart enterprises an unfair a ...

Geostatistical method predicts urban pollution

Mar 26, 2013

Researchers from the University of Castilla-La Mancha have developed a measurement system that permits the prediction of atmospheric pollution due to nitrogen oxides in a specific location and at a particular ...

Recommended for you

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

12 hours ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

14 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.