Faults in the East - New Madrid Seismic Zone and Recent Virginia Earthquake - Understanding Risks
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Co-Chairs - Representative Zoe Lofgren and Senators Mary Landrieu, Lisa Murkowski and Ben Nelson
Overview: The New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones affect 8 states – Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. A series of very large magnitude earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks occurred in the New Madrid region in 1811 and 1812, causing havoc for the small population of the time. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone in August of 2011 shook Mineral, Virginia and was felt over much of the Eastern United States. The earthquake shut down the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant and caused damage in Virginia, Washington, DC and beyond. Seismic zones in the East can generate significant earthquakes and tend to surprise people who are not accustomed to earthquakes. The briefing will discuss efforts to understand earthquakes in the East and to reduce risks to life, property and infrastructure.
Contributed by Wilson Bonner, AGI Geoscience Policy Staff.
Posted March 22, 2012
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