Madrid Seismic Zone

Facts about the New Madrid Seismic Zone

For most of them, the New Madrid Seismic Zone is a relatively new term. In short, it is popularly called the NMSZ, and this zone is located in the various regions of California, including:

  • Southeastern Missouri
  • Northeastern Arkansas
  • Western Tennessee
  • Southern Illinois
  • The Eastern Rocky mountains

These are the regions where the waves are extreme. This article will throw light on some facts about this region.

#1 This zone is sensitive to earthquakes and legend has it that these zones experience earthquakes simultaneous in all the regions, every 100 years. However, most of this seismic waves that pass-through the area are very sensitive to be detected by the humans and can only be caught by the seismic instruments.

#2 The faults on which the earthquake generally occurs, are buried between the layers of the earth and are almost 100-200 meters thick. They are buried under the river sediments which are popularly called alluvium. Most of the times, even with short tremors on the surfaces, this alluvium debris arise drastically form the surface. But over just matter of days, they’re again covered by new ones. Since they’re not the main topic of study for any of the scientists, their behaviour is not well-understood even to this day.

#3 The NMSZ is usually famous for a sequence of three major earthquakes with minutes of 7.0 or more massive of the two. These earthquakes occurred early in 1811 and 1812. However, apart from this, hundreds and thousands of moderate and mini earthquakes have also occurred until recent times, shaking the entire area for several months.


#4 The seismographs of the region provide the current recordings of the seismic waves that are produced in the region, and they’re also subjected to smaller earthquakes. Many universities around the region have also conducted studies to actually monitor the intensity of these earthquakes and their activity in the central US.

#5 The data of the earthquakes produced in this region is considered to study the magnitude of the seismic waves produced from the other mild and moderate earthquakes as well – some of which are lesser than 2.0 magnitude.

#6 The earthquakes that occur in the NMSZ regions are highly infrequent, especially the ones with larger intensity. Due to this, they are highly difficult to predict their occurrence and re-occurrence. This has made the study of this region highly intimidating, for the scientists over the years. The scientists are under constant research, and they’ve also made great strides in understanding their behaviour from the last 50 years.

#7 According to studies, another strong tide of an earthquake is going to stick the regions of Missouri Bootheel, Northeastern Arkansas and the areas of Tennessee in the upcoming years. This earth make is expected to have an intensity of 7.6 magnitudes and is believed to cause more significant damage than the ones it caused in California.