Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance Homepage


The American Geophysical Union, American Geosciences Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers, Geological Society of America, and the Seismological Society of America Invite You to a Public Briefing on

Faults in the East - New Madrid Seismic Zone and Recent Virginia Earthquake - Understanding Risks

Thursday, March 29, 2012
2253 Rayburn House Office Building
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Light Refreshments

Invitation Flyer

Video of the Briefing (YouTube)

In cooperation with the Congressional Hazards Caucus
Co-Chairs - Representative Zoe Lofgren and Senators Mary Landrieu, Lisa Murkowski and Ben Nelson


David B. Spears, Virginia State Geologist, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Charlottesville, Virginia

J. Wright Horton, Jr., U.S. Geological Survey, National Center, Reston, Virginia
Learning from the 2011 Virginia Earthquake (3 Mb PDF)

Charles A. Langston, Director of the Center for Earthquake Research and Information, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee
Understanding Earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (4.6 Mb PDF)

James M. Wilkinson, Jr., Executive Director of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, Memphis, Tennessee
Planning, Preparing, and Responding to Earthquake Risks in the Central United States (1.8 Mb PDF)

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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