Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Madrid Fault: facts and speculations

Most people are familiar with the San Andreas fault, the zipline running north to south in California, and is the catalyst for some of this country's biggest quakes. And when a nearly 6.0 quake hit Washington DC last year, people woke up to the fact that the east coast has a fault line too.

But even more people do not know about the United States' biggest quake threat, and that is the New Madrid fault. (Pronounced MAD'rud).

I wrote about the New Madrid in 2010, when the quake swarm in Guy, Arkansas began, freaking people out. It seemed impossible that 'the middle' of the US could be subject to seismic movements, and at that time there was little known to the general populace about this fault.

Michael T. Snyder wrote about the New Madrid in 2011, asking the question, "Is The New Madrid Fault Earthquake Zone Coming To Life?"

He provided the following facts about this large seismic zone in the middle of the United States:

"The New Madrid fault zone is six times bigger than the San Andreas fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. The biggest earthquakes in the history of the United States were caused by the New Madrid fault. Now there are fears that the New Madrid fault zone could be coming to life again, and if a "killer earthquake" does strike it could change all of our lives forever."

He asked the question in that way, 'coming to life' because the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) has been active before. Very much so. Snyder wrote-

"About 200 years ago, in 1811 and 1812, there were four earthquakes that were so powerful in the area of the New Madrid fault zone that they are still talked about today. All four of the quakes were estimated to have been magnitude-7.0 or greater. It is said that those earthquakes opened deep fissures in the ground, caused the Mississippi River to run backwards and that they were felt as far away as Boston. The last major earthquake to hit the region was a 5.4-magnitude quake that struck the town of Dale, Illinois in 1968."

In my 2010 article, I had quoted Wikipedia's version of the 1811-12 quakes, "At New Madrid, trees were knocked down and riverbanks collapsed. This event shook windows and furniture in Washington, D.C., rang bells in Richmond, Virginia, sloshed well water and shook houses in Charleston, South Carolina, and knocked plaster off of houses in Columbia, South Carolina. In Jefferson, Indiana, furniture moved and in Lebanon, Ohio, residents fled their homes. Observers in Herculaneum, Missouri, called it "severe" and claimed it had a duration of 10–12 minutes."

In 1811 the population was very low and major cities inside the NMSZ such as St. Louis MO and Memphis TN  were not as large and sprawling as they are now. The US didn't even own St. Louis until the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and the first steamboats didn't begin arriving at St. Louis until 1818. In 1810 only 1600 people lived there. If (when) a quake hits the NMSZ today, the damage would be staggering. We always think about "The Big One" in which Los Angeles would "slide into the sea"

but more likely, actually, St. Louis would slide into the Mississippi. Here is a woodcut depicting the 1811-1812 New Madrid quake damage

Of course, things look a little different in St. Louis today:

I mention all this for three reasons.

One- It is going to occur. Missouri's Governor convened a panel of officials in New Madrid who are on the front line of emergency response. From AP: Missouri state geologist Joe Gillman said an earthquake the magnitude of the 1811-12 quakes is expected to happen just once every 500 years. But a moderate quake with a magnitude 6.0 to 6.5 is expected to happen every 90 years, and the last one was in the late 1800s. “We are due, if not overdue, for a moderate-sized earthquake,” Gillman said. “Such a quake could devastate power lines and underground water and wastewater pipes, and many buildings could crumble.”

Two- In the Tribulation, there will be many earthquakes. Quakes are a judgment from God, and the 7-year Tribulation will contain all of God's wrath poured out on the people of the earth. He will not hold back. There will be many quakes in diverse places and they will be mega-quakes. (Revelation 6:12; Isaiah 13:10, Joel 2:10, Matthew 24:7, Revelation 8:5, Revelation 11:13, Revelation 16:18... you get the idea).

No place on earth will be protected from His shaking of it. So, the New Madrid will come to life and snuff out life.

Three- the MNSZ may already be showing signs of its return to life. Notwithstanding the excellent article from Mr Snyder I'd linked to above, a year later we see an increase in NNSZ activity. The ongoing Arkansas quake swarm is similar to the quake swarm that preceded the new Madrid big ones in Dec-Jan 1811-12. The danger is growing to the point where the MO Governor convened the panel to study the issue, as I linked to above. And take a look at the map. It is from the Riverfront Times, and the red blotch represents the 4,000 quakes that have occurred in the zone since 1976.

http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/New%20Madrid%20Fault%20Zone.jpg


I just wanted to bring a little atention to the fact that when Jesus said earthquakes in diverse places, that it doesn't only mean Los Angeles or Israel or India, or Tonga; places where we read about quakes so often. It also means Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and any other place the sovereign Lord wants to make one happen!

Is the New Madrid seismic zone waking up? I believe it is. Keep your eyes open and looking to the Midwestern US and keep looking up!

9 comments :

  1. And Kentucky just had one:
    Earthquake Details
    This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.



    Magnitude

    4.3



    Date-Time

    Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 17:08:12 UTC
    Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 12:08:12 PM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones



    Location

    37.135°N, 82.978°W



    Depth

    1.1 km (~0.7 mile) (poorly constrained)



    Region

    EASTERN KENTUCKY



    Distances

    13 km (8 miles) W of Whitesburg, Kentucky
    75 km (46 miles) NNW of Kingsport, Tennessee
    88 km (54 miles) NE of Middlesboro, Kentucky
    92 km (57 miles) NW of Bristol, Tennessee




    Location Uncertainty

    horizontal +/- 10.8 km (6.7 miles); depth +/- 10.1 km (6.3 miles)



    Parameters

    NST=230, Nph=234, Dmin=77.9 km, Rmss=1.01 sec, Gp= 29°,
    M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=7



    Source

    Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)



    Event ID

    usc000dqhx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Anonymous! Thank you. If I'm not mistaken, a 4.3 is kind of large for the area. It looks like in the past 40 years they have only had a couple of that size. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/kentucky/seismicity.php

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  2. Thank you for this timely information, Sister! Interesting to note that after I finished reading it, I went to look at current earthquakes occurring world-wide, found this in Kentucky:

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/usc000dqhx#summary

    Shannon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shannon, thanks! I didn't know there was a quake in KY today. As I mentioned in the comment above, the 4.3 mag is kind of unusual for that area. As far as writing this and you reading it, LOL, the Holy Spirit's timing is impeccable :)

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  3. Anniversary of court decision of Roe vs Wade 40th 1/22/1973 40th year 1/22/2013. One Americas greatest sins apart from rejecting the Gospel.
    The writing is on the wall and waiting for the other shoe to drop, there is still time to turn to Christ.
    He's coming.

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  4. Very interesting information---thank you. Here is something for speculation. When I looked at the next to the last map, the one with the red dots, my first impression was that the 'red' made a tilted Hebrew letter, 'dalet'. If I'm not mistaken, I think the letter has the meaning of a 'door'. Just speculation, of course, but I found it a curious thing as my next thought was of the door in heaven in Revelation. Revelation certainly talks of earthquakes, thus the connection. Any thoughts of yours would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I don't usually go that deep, lol. If the marks look like a letter, then why not a Cyrillic letter? Or a Chinese letter? It is too hard to correspond something like that against the bible so I don't usually try. Something like that, though, is an interesting mental game, and it is always cool to ponder heaven!

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  5. We just had a small eartquake yesterday i felt it pretty strong it moved me while sitting in a couch the whole apt moved a few sec
    Feb 25,2013
    4:28
    3.6

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wow, anonymous! thanks for the eyewitness report. Here is an article I thought was interesting

      Maybe this took place near you?!

      Recent earthquake reminder that New Madrid Fault still active
      http://www.kait8.com/story/21318497/recent-earthquake-reminder-that-new-madrid-fault-still-active
      Saturday's 3.6 magnitude earthquake near Trumann, Arkansas was a reminder that the New Madrid Seismic Zone is still active. The 3.6 mag. earthquake was centered just southwest of Trumann in Poinsett County and was felt across a dozen or so counties in Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi. It was one of hundreds of earthquakes that shake the region each year.

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