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Reconciling short recurrence intervals with minor deformation in the New Madrid seismic zone

Science

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Abstract

At least three great earthquakes occurred in the New Madrid seismic zone in 1811 and 1812. Estimates of present-day strain rates suggest that such events may have a repeat time of 1000 years or less. Paleoseismological data also indicate that earthquakes large enough to cause soil liquefaction have occurred several times in the past 5000 years. However, pervasive crustal deformation expected from such a high frequency of large earthquakes is not observed. This suggests that the seismic zone is a young feature, possibly as young as several tens of thousands of years old and no more than a few million years old.At least three great earthquakes occurred in the New Madrid seismic zone in 1811 and 1812. Estimates of present-day strain rates suggest that such events may have a repeat time of 1000 years or less. Paleoseismological data also indicate that earthquakes large enough to cause soil liquefaction have occurred several times in the past 5000 years. However, pervasive crustal deformation expected from such a high frequency of large earthquakes is not observed. This suggests that the seismic zone is a young feature, possibly as young as several tens of thousands of years old and no more than a few million years old.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Reconciling short recurrence intervals with minor deformation in the New Madrid seismic zone
Series title:
Science
Volume
264
Issue:
5163
Year Published:
1994
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Assoc for the Advancement of Science
Publisher location:
Washington, DC, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
1308
Last page:
1311
Number of Pages:
4