This is one of a series of five seismotectic maps of the seismically active New Madrid, Missouri, area (table 1; Wheeler and others, 1992). The map area centers near the sites of three great earthquakes that struck during the winter of 1811-12 (Fuller, 1912; Nuttli, 1973). These earthquakes and continuing subsequent seismicity rank the New Madrid area with Cherlevoix, Quebec, as the two most seismically active areas in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. The threat posed by New Madrid seismicity to the central United States makes the area the focus of many investigations (for examples, Heyl and McKeown, 1978; McKeown and Pakiser, 1982; Algemissen and Hopper, 1984; Hamilton and Johnston, 1990; Applied Technology Council, 1991; Johnston and others, 1992). The map area includes the most intense seismic activity in the New Madrid region.
A seismotectic map shows some of the geologic and geophysical information needed to assess seismic hazard (Hadley and Devine, 1974; Pavoni, 1985). A previous seismotectonic map of the central Mississippi River valley (Heyl and McKeown, 1978) has had wide use for planning field surveys, as a base map for plotting data collected during single investigations, and for compiling a range of information. Since 1978 numcrous researchers have greatly advanced our knowledge of the geology and geophysics of the central Mississippi Valley. The New Madrid seismotectonic map folio updates approximately the south-central sixth of the central Mississippi Valley seismotectonic map of Heyl and McKeown (1978).