Late one Sept day last year, Pat Sanders, a ranger at Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve in Interior Alaska, heard a distant explosion. A few
weeks later, a fire was spotted about 25 miles northeast of Eagle, a town of less than 100. An over flight of the area on Oct 15, revealed a jagged,
black smoldering pit on a Windfall Mountain peak. The fire, which has burning ever since, has spread from 5 acres to about 30 acres.
Sanders has taken a progression of pictures since Oct, and she finds the changes in the landscape to be dramatic. The caldera, dubbed the “Tatonduk
slump and fire,” has tripled in size since it was first photographed.
Aerial photos suggest that a volcano is forming. Huge orange rocks and yellow sulfur stream smoke, and extreme heat rises from fissures in the ground.
National Park Service geologist Linda Stromquist, measured the temperature at one fissure at 545 deg F.
Both Italy and Alaska sit on tectonic plate boundaries, places of volcanic activity where plates are pushed together or pulled apart. Italy contends
with the Eurasian and African Plate boundary, while Alaska is on the receiving end of the Pacific Plate as it slides laterally past southeast Alaska
and collides with the North American Plate.
For how long this slump in Alaska could continue to burn remains a mystery. How long will the fire burn? No one seems to know. It could be that the
small village may become uninhabitable if the fire grows. Eagle could become a small remote Alaskan ghost town.
Chapter 28: The Very Volatile New Madrid
I can remember through the years growing up in the Midwest, when you heard about an earthquake in our region, you were like, whoa, really? Now, not so
much, they are happening more and more often in the New Madrid zone that it barely makes the news anymore. A small 2.7 quake hit near Benton, IL which
is in the far southern part of the state in early March, 2013. The quake caused little to no damage and was in a very rural area.
Chicago Tribune, March 11, 2013
A small earthquake measuring 2.7 magnitude hit near Benton in southern Illinois this morning but appears to have done little, if any, damage in the
The Franklin County Sheriff’s office said it had gotten no reports of injuries or damages. The quake hit to the north and west of what is called the
New Madrid seismic zone. The last strong quake to hit southern Illinois was in April 2008, when a 5.2 magnitude quake struck near West Salem,
affecting areas including Mount Carmel, about 80 miles east of Benton.
A mild earthquake, with a 3.8 magnitude, hit the Chicago area on Feb. 10, 2010.
Over the past couple of years, there have been a string of these small tremors throughout the New Madrid region. Just a few months before this March
quake in Benton, a 4.3 quake struck in Kentucky that was felt across 12 states. Two weeks after that, a 3.6 rattled Mt. Carmel, IL. The same night
that the Illinois quake struck, a smaller 2.9 was felt in Edmond, OK. The Kentucky quake was felt in Knoxville where it even set off some panic as
homes rattled and walls shook. All three of these quakes were shallow, Kentucky’s was just over 12 miles deep, and that’s why it was felt over
such a wide area.
There have been a lot of tremors along the fault line recently, even two small 1.7 tremors in New Madrid, MO itself on March 9, 2013. Trumann, AR had
a small 2.3 two days after that while it also felt a 3.6 in the same spot on February 23. In the same week that all these other tremors were cropping
up, MO and AR had five small quakes along the New Madrid fault.
The map on the next page shows 309 earthquakes in the 6-month period prior to March 12, 2013 in the Central United States. That’s a lot of quakes.
Some of these are surely hydraulic fracking quakes, while many are not and they are close to the New Madrid fault line.
So what exactly is the New Madrid fault? It’s a fault line that’s six times the size of the famed San Andreas Fault in California. The New Madrid
covers parts of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee. Alabama and Oklahoma may also be a part of this according
The New Madrid experienced four large quakes in 1811-12 that were all 7.0 or larger, one of them caused the Mississippi River to run backwards, was
felt as far away as Boston and each quake caused large fissures to open up in the earth. The New Madrid had another large quake in 1968 in Dale, IL
that registered 5.4. Otherwise, it’s been quiet, until these past couple of years.
Many strange occurrences ensued lately through this region of the country, from as far south as Louisiana and its sinkholes up to Arkansas and their
mass animal die-offs (we all remember Beebe, AR, and the birds falling from the sky) up into Tennessee where numerous reports of strange sky noises
and sonic booms, not to mention animal die-offs were reported. Throughout the New Madrid area over the past few years, there have been constant
reports of the strange sky noises and unexplained sonic booms. There were many fish and animal die-offs that made headlines including over 100,000
fish washing ashore along an Arkansas River and the 3,000 blackbirds in Beebe, and another 500 birds in Louisiana. In the period between September of
2012 and March of 2013, there were over 500 small earthquakes in central Arkansas alone.
Think about how many of these fissures from the tectonic movement are releasing methane gas in the central part of the US, which may be resulting in
the strange sky noises, sonic booms, and mass animal die-offs. I might also note that the area from Oklahoma to Virginia, across the central part of
the United States, is the most active part of the country for fireball sightings.
One geologist said that he believes the new activity along the New Madrid may be the direct result of the BP oil spill. He postulated the New Madrid
is tied directly to deeply buried tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico.
This geologist, Jack Reed, is a retired Texaco geologist-geophysicist. He has been studying the geology of the Gulf of Mexico for over 40 years and
said, “This entire zone through the United States is suffering some type of tectonic activity that I believe is tied to the deeply buried tectonics
of the Gulf of Mexico.”
But could it have been the BP spill? It’s quite possible. Some also believe that this spill may also be indirectly tied to the Louisiana sinkhole in
Assumption Parish. Then what about the Gulf of Mexico dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi? You remember the dead zone that we discussed in an
edit on 27-3-2015 by Rezlooper because: (no reason given)