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Seismic-Hazard Map of Southeast Missouri and Likely Magnitude of the February 1812 New Madrid Earthquake
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
  • Jaewon Chung
  • J. David Rogers, Missouri University of Science and Technology

The New Madrid seismic zone lies beneath the upper Mississippi Embayment, straddling the border between southeastern Missouri and northwestern Tennessee. In late 1811 and early 1812, it produced five earthquakes of magnitudes >6.5, violently shaking the central and eastern United States (CEUS). Its magnitude and recurrence are of concern to today's central United States regions. By considering the effects of local geology, deterministic scenario maps (Mw 7.3 and 7.7) were produced for ground motions intended to simulate the 7 February 1812 event (NM3), which was the largest felt. These maps include spatial estimates of peak ground acceleration and of 0.2 s and 1.0 s spectral acceleration (SA). Compared with the isoseismic map of modified Mercalli intensities (MMIs) in southeast Missouri, the MMIs converted from 0.2 s SA suggest that Mw 7.7 is a plausible scenario for NM3. To better constrain its magnitude, other CEUS sites shaken during NM3 were also examined. Local site conditions were studied and evaluated before calculating the threshold magnitude for the reported MMIs. These results indicate that the magnitude of NM3 was at least Mw 7.6, which validates our estimated size of Mw 7.7 for southeastern Missouri.

Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
  • Geophysics,
  • Seismology,
  • Deterministic Scenario,
  • Local Site Condition,
  • Modified Mercalli Intensities,
  • New Madrid Seismic Zones,
  • Peak Ground Acceleration,
  • Seismic Hazard Maps,
  • Spectral Acceleration,
  • Upper Mississippi,
  • Earthquake Intensity,
  • Earthquake Magnitude,
  • Earthquake Recurrence,
  • Ground Motion,
  • Missouri,
  • New Madrid,
  • Tennessee,
  • United States
Geographic Coverage
Southeast Missouri
Document Type
Article - Journal
Document Version
Final Version
File Type
© 2015 Seismological Society of America, All rights reserved.
Publication Date
Publication Date
01 Aug 2015
Citation Information
Jaewon Chung and J. David Rogers. "Seismic-Hazard Map of Southeast Missouri and Likely Magnitude of the February 1812 New Madrid Earthquake" Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Vol. 105 Iss. 4 (2015) p. 2219 - 2234 ISSN: 0037-1106
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