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Earthquake Hazard in the Heart of the Homeland

Fact Sheet 2006-3125

UNDERSTANDING EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS IN THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES
By:
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Abstract

Evidence that earthquakes threaten the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash River valleys of the Central United States abounds. In fact, several of the largest historical earthquakes to strike the continental United States occurred in the winter of 1811-1812 along the New Madrid seismic zone, which stretches from just west of Memphis, Tenn., into southern Illinois. Several times in the past century, moderate earthquakes have been widely felt in the Wabash Valley seismic zone along the southern border of Illinois and Indiana. Throughout the region, between 150 and 200 earthquakes are recorded annually by a network of monitoring instruments, although most are too small to be felt by people. Geologic evidence for prehistoric earthquakes throughout the region has been mounting since the late 1970s. But how significant is the threat? How likely are large earthquakes and, more importantly, what is the chance that the shaking they cause will be damaging?

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Earthquake Hazard in the Heart of the Homeland
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
2006-3125
Edition:
Version 1.0
Year Published:
2007
Language:
ENGLISH
Contributing office(s):
Earthquake Hazards Program
Description:
4 p.