Map: Country Drained by the Mississippi, 1823, Stephen Long

New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ)

Geology of the NMSZ

Earthquake-Induced Liquefaction of the NMSZ

Paleoseismology: Digging up the Past

Paleoseismology of the New Madrid Seismic Zone

Archeology and New Madrid Paleoseismology

Paleoseismology and Earthquake Hazard Mapping



M. Tuttle & Associates Home

Background map courtesy Cartography Associates: Edwin James and Stephen Long, Country drained by the Mississippi, Eastern Section, 1822. Carey and Lea Philadelphia.

Paleoseismology provides information about when, where, and how often large earthquakes occur in a region or along a fault system. This information is crucial for characterizing the earthquake hazard of a region. Earthquake hazard includes ground shaking, ground failure, surface faulting, or any effect that causes damage and loss of life. In maps produced by the U.S. Geological Survey, seismic hazard is expressed as probabilistic earthquake ground shaking and takes into account recent findings in paleoseismology, historical seismology, strong motion seismology, and site response. Seismic hazard maps provide the basis for seismic provisions used in building codes, one of the main tools for reducing future losses from earthquakes. In addition, the maps are used in emergency planning and for insurance purposes.

National Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Map shows relative levels of earthquake hazard across United States. It indicates that New Madrid seismic zone presents highest hazard in all of central and eastern United States.

For more information, go to the U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard mapping web pages.

M. Tuttle & Associates: P.O. Box 345, Georgetown ME 04548