Mississippi Delta earthquake Zone
By Joseph Parish
As I sit here at the computer preparing to write an article for my web site I began to think about an often forgotten disaster in American history. Granted we all have different regional threats ranging from tornados to hurricanes however we frequently think of these risks as associated with a specific area. The area of which I speak is the New Madrid fault line.
When we think about the New Madrid fault line we no doubt conjure up images of the great earthquake which took place at New Madrid in the early years of 1800s. This December 1811 earthquake was an intense series of quakes which began with as a pair of massive earthquakes on the 16th of December. At the time of the occurrence the Mississippi River located town of New Madrid was located in the Louisiana Territory but is now known as Missouri.
This quake was so strong that it was felt over 1 million square miles away. By comparison our historical San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was very moderate and extended only 6,000 square miles. At the time of this New Madrid quake some portions of the Mississippi River were said to be flowing in reverse or backwards for a period of time. Residents from as far away as Norfolk and Pittsburgh were shaken from their sleep by the intense results of the quake. Church bells in Boston and Toronto were reported to be ringing while the sidewalks in DC were cracked or broke apart. Reports were received that chimneys in Maine came toppling down.
Devastation was so intense that the governor William Clark requested aid from the federal government. This became the first instance of disaster aid request in history. As for us survivalists who want to know can this disaster happen again? The answer is yes it can.
It is believed that the cause of the earthquake lies in an ancient geologic feature which is buried beneath the Mississippi River known as a Reelfoot Rift. As America started to break or rift apart it created certain seismic zones. Faults were established along this rift with igneous rock forming from the magma being forced towards the surface. Although the rift system had failed it still remained as a zone of weakness lying deep under the ground. Over the millions of years several additional failed rifts created more faults resulting in the area being even weaker. This makes the area prone to further earthquakes.
As you can readily tell by further research on this fault it is really only a matter of time before it lets loose and disaster prevails along an area that normally does not plan for earthquakes. As responsible survivalists we may wish to consider this as a serious threat and plan accordingly.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish