Hole in Kentucky will help predict quakes

October 3, 2006

Workers in Kentucky are drilling a 2,000-foot hole that will become the deepest seismic observatory in the Midwest.

The project, located at the edge of a soybean field near Sassafras Ridge, will monitor the New Madrid Seismic Zone where three jumbo earthquakes shook the Midwest in the early 1800s, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone is an area roughly centered on New Madrid, Mo. in the state's bootheel.

Once the drillers reach bedrock 2,000 feet down, they will put a steel casing in the hole and fix a seismometer to the bottom, allowing geologists to monitor the Earth's rumblings.

A spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey says the seismometer will allow less uncertainty in hazard estimates.

Although it is quite expensive, the spokesman says scientific drilling is becoming more and more common.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Long thought silent because of ice, study shows east Antarctica seismically active

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Matter waves and quantum splinters

March 25, 2019

Physicists in the United States, Austria and Brazil have shown that shaking ultracold Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) can cause them to either divide into uniform segments or shatter into unpredictable splinters, depending ...

How tree diversity regulates invading forest pests

March 25, 2019

A national-scale study of U.S. forests found strong relationships between the diversity of native tree species and the number of nonnative pests that pose economic and ecological threats to the nation's forests.


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.