Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Big One

On this day 206 years ago the last and greatest of the New Madrid earthquakes occurred.  It was noted by many and described as the hard shock.  It was felt across the eastern United States and noted as a distinct earthquake and not an aftershock of the earlier New Madrid earthquakes.  This earthquake spawned the myth that the Mississippi river moved backward during the quake. In fact when the fault ruptured near New Madrid it shoved the river upstream temporarily and then sloshed back the opposite direction.  Here is an eyewitness account of that quake as it was experienced at New Madrid.
Matthias Speed account

Speed's account gives a detailed description of what the earthquake did at New Madrid.  Until the modern era many aspects of his account were  believed to be exaggerations.  When seismologists such as Arch Johnston investigated the account they found it to have fidelity to what actually occurred.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Second Great Quake

206 years ago today, the second of the great New Madrid earthquakes occurred.  The second earthquake was not as noticeable as the first quake of December 16 in the area near the epicenter due to the numerous aftershocks that were still occurring in the region. However further away from the epicentral area the second quake was noticed and noted to be a distinct earthquake.  Here is an example of an eyewitness account of the effect of the quake 

This account was from Coshockton, Ohio which was a great distance from the New Madrid seismic zone. It exmplifies the power that the earthquakes manifested even at great distances in the eastern United States.
As a coincidence today there was a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in the ocean off of Alaska.  This earthquake caused no damage but shows that earthquakes are always occurring and stirring the earth.  For more information visit this link: Alaskan Earthquake

Monday, October 30, 2017

New Madrid says Boo! in 1895

 New Madrid says boo in 1895

On October 30. 1895 the New Madrid seismic zone experienced the a  strong earthquake of magnitude 6.6. It was the strongest earthquake since the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812. The quake was felt all across the Central and Eastern United States and was noted by many newspapers of the time.
Here is a sample of what was reported from the Reelfoot Lake area:
 Source Crittenden County Press, November 7, 1895 Page 1, Column 4.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

West Tennessee Seismic Safety Commission Meeting May 24

As a courtesy to our friends at the commission here is a public notice of their meeting at Reelfoot Lake on May 24, 2017. The meeting will be held  at the existing Reelfoot Lake Visitors Center.  The meeting time will be at 10:00 am with the agenda being posted later.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Magnitude 3.6 Earthquake in Western Kentucky

The New Madrid seismic zone had an magnitude 3.6 earthquake shortly before noon today. It was felt in West Kentucky, Southeast Missouri and Western Tennessee.  For more information Kentucky Earthquake.  As a note posts have been infrequent on lighter earthquakes as the notices on them are on the CERI facebook page. Sorry for any iconvenience this may cause.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A magnitude 2.8 earthquake near Dyersburg, Tennessee

For once we had an earthquake during the weekday.  A few moments ago there was a magnitude 2.8 earthquake near Dyersburg, Tennessee.  The quake showed on the "Did You Feel It?" map for the quake. If you feel it respond to the website and add to the felt map. This data is important as it shows the effect of the earthquake upon human activity and as data to help calibrate earthquake site response.  We sometimes get phone calls here at CERI reporting quakes when the best repository for the information is on the website where the data can be correlated.  For more information on the quake visitDyersburg earthquake.

Note: since the first post it has been upgraded to a magnitude 2.8. thanks to Holly Withers our  Research Associate who does analysis on seismic data  for the information.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Great Quake

On this day 205 years ago at approximatly 2:30 in the morning the last of the great New Madrid earthquakes occurred.  It was the strongest of the 3 and was felt across the eastern North American continent in the area that embraced the United States as it was constituted then.  The quake generated also in words one of the best eywitness accounts by New Madrid native, Eliza Bryan  she wrote of the earthquake:
"...on the 7th about 4 o'clock, A. M., a concussion took place so much more violent that those which had preceded it, that it was denominated the hard shock.  The awful darkenss of the atmosphere, which was formerly saturated with the sulphurious vapor, and the violence of the tempestuous thundering noise that acconpanied it, together with all the other phenomena mentioned as attending the former ones, formed a scene, the description of which would require the most sublimely fanciful imagination..."

Her description went on in some detail about the quake and described the other earthquake of the New Madrid sequence as had been experienced by its namesake town.   For more information visit New Madrid Compendium.