Estimates have been made of the effects of a large Ms = 8.6, Io = XI earthquake hypothesed to occur anywhere in the New Madrid seismic zone. The estimates are based on the distributions of intensities associated with the earthquakes of 1811-12, 1843 and 1895 although the effects of other historical shocks are also considered. The resulting composite type intensity map for a maximum intensity XI is believed to represent the upper level of shaking likely to occur. Specific intensity maps have been developed for six cities near the epicentral region taking into account the most likely distribution of site response in each city. Intensities found are: IX for Carbondale, IL; VIII and IX for Evansville, IN; VI and VIII for Little Rock, AR; IX and X for Memphis, TN; VIII, IX, and X for Paducah, KY; and VIII and X for Poplar Bluff, MO. On a regional scale, intensities are found to attenuate from the New Madrid seismic zone most rapidly to the west and southwest sides of the zone, most slowly to the northwest along the Mississippi River, on the northeast along the Ohio River, and on the southeast toward Georgia and South Carolina. Intensities attenuate toward the north, east, and south in a more normal fashion. Known liquefaction effects are documented but much more research is needed to define the liquefaction potential.
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Estimation of earthquake effects associated with a great earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone