new madrid earthquake 1811 magnitude

The three principal New Madrid mainshocks of 1811-1812 were followed by extensive aftershock sequences that included numerous felt events. The magnitude of the December 16, 1811, event ranged from 6.7 to 8.1, whereas the ranges for the earthquakes of January 23 and February 7, 1812, were 6.8–7.8 and 7.0–8.8, respectively. The first of these happened December 16, 1811. This one involved the New Madrid fault and may have placed stress on a neighboring fault known as he Reelfoot Fault. The earthquakes and their aftershocks took place within a large region called the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ)—an area of high earthquake risk running from northeastern Arkansas and northwestern Tennessee to southeastern Missouri and southwestern Kentucky. There were thousands of aftershocks, of which 1,874 were large enough to be felt in Louisville, Kentucky, about 190 miles (300 km) away. The main shock occurred at 9:15 am, and its magnitude was estimated at 7.5. The Mississippi Valley Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812: Intensities, Ground Motion, and Magnitudes. Omissions? Amid the deafening din of crashing trees, collapsing riverbanks, and screaming wild birds, he sought to reassure the frightened crewmen eager to abandon the boat for the perceived safety of the shore. Another local citizen echoed her sentiments: “we were awakened by a most tremendous noise, while the house danced about and seemed as if it would fall on our heads.” As the earthquakes persisted, the river town’s terrified inhabitants fled their rolling and jostling homes and established encampments on higher ground to avoid the dangers of flooding. Contemporary estimates that placed the death toll at a mere handful attributed the scant loss of life to a sparse population, but more recent scholars believe that those numbers grossly underestimated the full death toll by failing to take into account numerous unreported casualties and deaths on the river and in the region’s populous Indian communities. On December 16, 1811, the 400 residents of New Madrid, Missouri, were shaken out of their beds at two in the morning by a violent earthquake. A second earthquake of the same size hit six hours later, again shaking the ground more than 1,000 miles away. Over the years, estimates have placed the 1811-12 quakes’ magnitudes anywhere from under 7.0 to 8.5—an enormous range given that one additional unit … Reelfoot Lake, near Tiptonville, Tennessee. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 63(1), 227–248. Huge cracks split the ground. The 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes were an intense intraplate earthquake series beginning with an initial earthquake of moment magnitude 7.5‑7.9 on December 16, 1811 … Soil liquefaction caused large sand blows that fouled farmland in Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas. New Madrid, Missouri, was the biggest settlement in the region at the time of the quakes, and the surrounding land were devastated in 1811-12. New Madrid resident Eliza Bryan vividly recalled the awful noises of the first shocks replete with the distant reverberations of hoarse and vibrating thunder, the cracking sounds of falling trees, and the river’s thunderous roar, all punctuated by the smell of sulfur. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. When John Bradbury entered a house near the Chickasaw Bluffs in which there was an open Bible on the table, one of the occupants attributed the cause of the recurring shocks to the Great Comet of 1811 that had appeared a few months earlier. By late spring the aftershocks had gradually diminished, but in the forlorn New Madrid district, only the hardiest souls remained. We reexamine original felt reports from the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes … Published March 13, 2020; Last updated March 19, 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), The encyclopedia is freely provided with support from. “Earthquake Christians” who flocked to frontier revivals and swelled church membership rolls sometimes exhibited a curious amalgam of belief systems. Boatman on the river reported the riverbed rose up to 15 feet causing the Mississippi to flow backwards and create two temporary waterfalls. The geologic record of pre-1811 earthquakes reveals that the New Madrid seismic zone has repeatedly produced sequences of major earthquakes, including several of magnitude 7 to 8, over the past 4,500 years. A series of minor earth tremors (maximum magnitude of just 2.6) have not so much shaken as shivered the Mississippi valley between Paducah and Memphis over the past 30 days. The earthquake sequence that struck the New Madrid region of the Mississippi Valley in 1811-1812 had remarkably far-reaching effects. Valencius, Conevery Bolton. The strongest aftershock, a magnitude-7.0 tremor that became known as the “dawn aftershock,” occurred later that day at 7:15 am. January 23, 1812, a magnitude 7.3 to 7.6 quake with an epicenter in the Missouri Bootheel struck at around 9:00 a.m. The New Madrid Earthquakes. 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