Feb 17, 2011

Earthquake Activity in Arkansas

I subscribe to an Earthquake Notification Service

Over the years, the Arkansas area has always generated a frequent number of earthquakes. However, in recent days, from February 15-17, there have been a greater number than I remember seeing. But, what's even more interesting is the size of these quakes.

Most of the quakes have been small, ranging from the 1.0 to 3.0. These few days have seen at least two quakes at 4.0, with lots of high 2.0's. The intensity and frequency seems to be on the increase.

Guess I'm wondering whether this is something that the government ought to be sending out notice on to the populace. Is there a danger? I'm no geologist, nor am I even close to being an expert in such things. But, I am smart enough to see patterns. I'm seeing one here that is troubling. If I had more "smarts" in this area, I wonder if I'd be afraid?

The New Madrid Fault line runs through the Arkansas area. Contrary to a lot of "talking heads" about it being a "dead" fault, most of the experts hold otherwise. At the end of February 2011, the small town of Greenbriar, Arkansas was hit with a magnitude 4.7 earthquake

A Missouri state geologist named  Joe Gillman said stated that an earthquake of the magnitude of the 1811-12 quakes is supposed to happen once every 500 years or so. However, a moderate quake, a 6.0 to a 6.5 magnitude quake is expected to happen  every 90 years. The last quake in the New Madrid fault area was in the late 1800s. The Mississippi literally ran backwards. Lakes were created.

Gillman takes the position that a biggie quake is one the way. He said, “We are due, if not overdue, for a moderate-sized earthquake. Such a quake could devastate power lines and underground water and waste water pipes, and many buildings could crumble.”

Just passing along info to those who care.

Here's one of the 4.0 mag. reports I received:

Region:                            ARKANSAS
Geographic coordinates:            35.276N,  92.360W
Magnitude                         4.0 M
Depth:                            6 km
Universal Time (UTC):             17 Feb 2011  10:49:48
Time near the Epicenter:          17 Feb 2011  04:49:48
Local standard time in your area: 17 Feb 2011  10:49:48

Location with respect to nearby cities:
   6 km (4 miles) NNE (27 degrees) of Greenbrier, AR
   6 km (4 miles) SSW (203 degrees) of Guy, AR
   7 km (5 miles) SE (128 degrees) of Twin Groves, AR
  60 km (37 miles) N (357 degrees) of Little Rock, AR
418 km (259 miles) SSW (207 degrees) of St. Louis, MO