Understanding Hazards in the Central and Eastern U.S.
Research and products for loss reduction in the Central and Eastern U.S. is accomplished through partnerships among USGS and academic, government, and private partners. USGS staff are located in the Memphis, Tennessee, field office at the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), in Golden, Colorado, and in Menlo Park, California.
The map to the right shows earthquakes (circles) greater than magnitude 3.0 since 1974 plotted on the 2008 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map for the central and eastern United States. Warmer colors on this map indicate areas of higher hazard. Larger earthquakes are represented by larger circles.
The 2014 Earthquake Insight Briefing will be held on Wednesday, February 19, in Washington DC. It will be held at the District Architecture Center (421 Seventh Street NW; Washington DC). This program is for non-scientists who need to know more about earthquake hazards and earthquake risks in the Central and Eastern U.S.
On October 17, 2013, at 10:17 a.m., millions of people across 15 states in the central and eastern U.S. will participate in the 2013 Great ShakeOut drill. We all must get better prepared for major earthquakes and practice how to protect ourselves when they happen so that we can reduce losses and recover quickly. The purpose of the ShakeOut is to help people and organizations do both. You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes: at home, at work, at school or even on vacation. What we do now will determine our quality of life after our next big earthquake.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes: "Drop, Cover and Hold On." The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to reduce damage and injuries.
Be a part of the ShakeOut, register now!
Scientists have been busy studying the 2011 earthquake including the ground motions, felt area, and scouring the landscape looking for surface deformation caused by this earthquake and past earthquakes. Read about science results and activities here.
In commemoration of the upcoming 45th anniversary of this important earthquake, which was felt from Cleveland to Kansas City and Minneapolis to Atlanta, the USGS has set up a "Did You Feel It" site for people to record their shaking experience during this quake. The quake occurred at about 11 am local time. The earthquake was widely felt, and if you were living in the region at the time, it is also scientifically important to note that you did not feel it. Your shaking experience will be converted to an Intensity map and scientists will use this information to strengthen a study of damage and intensity that was completed soon after the earthquake by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and St. Louis University.
Commemorating the Bicentennial of the New Madrid earthquake sequence, December 1811-February 1812
Map showing the earthquake location and regional earthquakes since 1990.
Map shows the localities where Quaternary faulting has been detected in the subsurface, and the results published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Earthquake Summary Poster for the New Madrid Scenario Earthquake Exercise.
In 2011 and 2012, there will be events held throughout the central United States observing the 200th Anniversary of the great 1811 and 1812 New Madrid earthquakes that forever changed the mid-western landscape.
There is broad agreement in the scientific community that a continuing concern exists for a major destructive earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone. Many structures in Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., and other communities in the central Mississippi River Valley region are vulnerable and at risk from severe ground shaking. This assessment is based on decades of research on New Madrid earthquakes and related phenomena by dozens of Federal, university, State, and consulting earth scientists.
Download PDFs about recent significant earthquakes in the Central and Eastern U.S.
A series of earthquakes hit the New Madrid seismic zone of southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, and adjacent parts of Tennessee and Kentucky, in December 1811 to February 1812.
Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country--Your Handbook for Earthquakes in the Central United States
Maps of ground motion and shaking intensity for significant earthquakes. Google Earth KML files are in the Downloads area for each individual earthquake under the GIS Files heading.