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As bicentennial approaches...
Truck Uncovers Secrets of New Madrid’s Neighbor
Released: 6/7/2010 11:15:46 AM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Heidi Koontz 1-click interview
Phone: 720-320-1246

A team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey will be conducting a series of seismic profiling tests near the New Madrid Fault during the first part of June. Using the “Thumper” truck, researchers with the USGS and University of Texas hope to gather new insight into another region south of the New Madrid Fault zone that likely experienced large earthquakes 5000 to 7000 years ago.

By vibrating the ground with the truck and listening to the echoes, this high-resolution seismic-imaging study looks underground and into the past for the presence of faulting below a series of earthquake-induced sandblows.

When: Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Anytime between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Where: Near Marianna, Ark., 65 miles southwest of Memphis; 90 miles east of Little Rock; approximately four miles south/southeast of Marianna, Ark; on Lee County Road 232 west of Hwy 1

Who: USGS geophysicist Rob Williams, numerous scientists from USGS, students from Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, and a large “Thumper” truck from the University of Texas (great audio and visual opportunity).


The New Madrid fault system, which was responsible for the 1811–1812 New Madrid earthquakes, is one of several fault zones in the region. Sand blows in the study area near Marianna, Ark., which are visible on the ground surface, provide the strongest evidence for large earthquakes occurring near the New Madrid fault zone.

Earthquakes that occur in and around the New Madrid fault zone potentially threaten parts of seven U.S. states: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

Visit the bicentennial of the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes website for more information. 

To acquire more detailed directions and background, please contact Heidi Koontz at 720-320-1246 or hkoontz@usgs.gov.

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