Black River Technical College is situated directly along the New Madrid Fault Line, a \”long-established weakness in the Earth’s crust in the central and eastern US where earthquakes have occurred for hundreds of millions of years,\” says the American Geosciences Institute.

It is the most active fault in the United States with approximately 100 earthquakes between 2011-2013,

Ferocity of a Major New Madrid Earthquake

Because of the geology of the region around the New Madrid Fault Line, when a major earthquake occurs here,

the impact can be far more widespread. Due to the underlying geology in the area, a New Madrid earthquake may cause destruction in an area about 20 times larger than an earthquake with a southern California epicenter.\”  Jackson County, MO Offical Site

In 1811-12, an 8.0 earthquake shook the New Madrid Fault Line, setting off more than 2,000 after-tremors for the next 5 months.  The shock reached all the way to the Eastern seaboard where it rattled church bells.

Today, the area is much more populated, so the results would be much more devastating.  In fact, \”a 2010 study that the University of Illinois conducted and the Federal Emergency Management Agency commissioned, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake in this area could leave more than 7 million people homeless.\”

Recent New Madrid Activity

The New Madrid Fault Line is still very active.  Below identifies a list of earthquakes along the Northeast Arkansas section of the New Madrid Faulty Line in just 2019:

About the Richter Scale Ratings

While there is no limit to how high an earthquake can rate on the Richter Scale, an earthquake of 8.0 and higher is considered major.  The largest earthquake in modern record was a Chilean earthquake which rated 9.5 in 1960.

Other Resources