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Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of a soil is reduced by earthquake shaking or other rapid loading. Liquefaction and related phenomena have been responsible for tremendous amounts of damage in historical earthquakes around the world.
Liquefaction occurs in saturated soils, that is, soils in which the space between individual particles is completely filled with water. This water exerts a pressure on the soil particles that influences how tightly the particles themselves are pressed together. Prior to an earthquake, the water pressure is relatively low. However, earthquake shaking can cause the water pressure to increase to the point where the soil particles can readily move with respect to each other.
The results indicate that Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri are most severely impacted. Illinois and Kentucky are also impacted, though not as severely as the previous three states. Nearly 715,000 buildings are damaged in the eight-state study region. About 42,000 search and rescue personnel working in 1,500 teams are required to respond to the earthquakes. Damage to critical infrastructure (essential facilities, transportation and utility lifelines) is substantial in the 140 impacted counties near the rupture zone, including 3,500 damaged bridges and nearly 425,000 breaks and leaks to both local and interstate pipelines. Approximately 2.6 million households are without power after the earthquake. Nearly 86,000 injuries and fatalities result from damage to infrastructure. Nearly 130 hospitals are damaged and most are located in the impacted counties near the rupture zone. There is extensive damage and substantial travel delays in both Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, thus hampering search and rescue as well as evacuation. Moreover roughly 15 major bridges are unusable. Three days after the earthquake, 7.2 million people are still displaced and 2 million people seek temporary shelter. Direct economic losses for the eight states total nearly $300 billion, while indirect losses may be at least twice this amount.
Now rest assured, the Jackson Volcano last erupted about 75 million years ago (determined by analyzing core samples drilled from the dome), 10 million years before the Cretaceous-Tertiary Mass Extinction event in which it is theorized that a 6-mile diameter asteroid struck the earth off the coast of what is now the Yucatan Peninsula leaving a crater over 100-miles wide, called the Chicxulub crater (pronounced Chick-shoo-loob, it's a Maya word that roughly translates as "tail of the devil"). This event lead to the extinction of about 70% of all life. Although extinct itself, the volcano is here, and it has company.
"The Mississippi River follows what is known as the Mississippi Embayment," David tells me. "This is a syncline, or a trough-shaped fold in the earth, that stretches from Illinois south to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. The Jackson Volcano is on the east side of this syncline and the Monroe Uplift, another Cretaceous volcano, is on the west side. They're kind of symmetrical. Further north is the Murfreesboro, Arkansas Volcano. And then, there's a buried volcano at the mouth of the Mississippi River called the Door Point Volcano. So there's a ring of volcanoes around what's now this slumped syncline. And the New Madrid Fault is part of that over-all feature.
originally posted by: DaphneApollo
I've never heard of an earthquake in this area before and I live a few miles from it.