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: Spitzer telescope witnesses asteroid smashup

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Mysteries of space dust revealed

2 hours ago

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

7 hours ago

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Spitzer telescope witnesses asteroid smashup

Aug 28, 2014

(Phys.org) —NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted an eruption of dust around a young star, possibly the result of a smashup between large asteroids. This type of collision can eventually lead to the ...

User comments : 0