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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The New Madrid fault zone in the nation's midsection is active and could spawn future large earthquakes, scientists reported Thursday.
It's "not dead yet," said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough, who was part of the study published online by the journal Science.
Researchers have long debated just how much of a hazard New Madrid (MAD'-rihd) poses. The zone stretches 150 miles, crossing parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
The U.S. Geological Survey considers the earthquake hazard level for this area to be high. However, scientists have struggled to understand exactly what’s going on beneath the surface and what it might mean for the future.
For those of us that live in the upper and middle Mississippi River valley's - we watch -
there's a term for it - Liquidating? - the term escapes me at the moment....
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.
Don't know about the halting of fracking - but I don't think they're going to do that -
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Two natural gas companies have agreed to temporarily suspend use of injection wells in central Arkansas where earthquakes keep occurring.
The commission says there is likely a link between the wells and the earthquakes. There have been more than 800 quakes in the area in the past six months and a magnitude 4.7 quake – the strongest in Arkansas in 35 years – hit there Sunday.