The New Madrid Fault also known as the Reelfoot Rift is a fault that not a lot of people have heard about. The New Madrid Fault is located in the Southern and Midwestern United states. It is still active today.
The New Madrid Fault is a series of several faults beneath the continental crust. The New Madrid has on average has hundreds of earthquakes a year. A magnitude of 2.5 to 3.0 on the Ritcher Scale is what is usually felt in an earthquake. About every 20 months or about a year there is a magnitude felt at 1. 0 on the Ritcher Scale. Every 18 months there is a magnitude of 4.0 or more. About once every decade you get a 5.0 magnitude. A 7.5 magnitude or greater happens ever 200 to 500 years. One of those was the New Madrid earthquake, which happen in 1811 to 1812. When this happen people were not ready for this. In some areas when the earthquake happened large areas sank into the earth and then new lakes then formed. Also the course of the Mississippi River had changed. A total of 150,000 acres of forest was destroyed. This made land unfit for farmers for many years. The earthquakes were so powerful that eighteen of the earthquakes rang church bells on the east coast.
People should be more aware of the New Madrid Fault. In the future there should be another earthquake like the one of 1811 and 1812. AH5