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View Diary: New Madrid at 200: A Disaster Deferred? (102 comments)

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  •  Oddity... (6+ / 0-)

    ...that the New Madrid earthquakes, of M7.2 or less, should cause such widespread effects.  On easter 2010, however, an earthquake of magniture 7.2 (by USGS) occurred at the northern end of the Sea of Cortez In Mexico.  While San Diegans, only 90 miles away (far closer than Charleston is from New Madrid), felt that quake distinctly, hardly any buildings were damaged.

    We reach for the stars with shaking hands in bare-knuckle times.

    by TheOrchid on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 02:55:03 PM PST

    •  Has to do with the (9+ / 0-)

      underlying geology.

      The reason the quakes were felt at huge distances has to do with the rigidity of the crust east of the Rockies. The ground simply transmits seismic energy better than in the West, where a comparable quake would not be felt as widely.

      At one time, I was doing some research on this for a diary, but Terry has done a MUCH more thorough job than I ever could.  

      I can tell you that the last rumble from that area wasn't very high on the scale (5-ish,  maybe close to 6?), but I was awakened by dishes rattling in the cupboards, and I am 400 miles upriver!  I'd fallen asleep in the recliner and it felt like I had one of those massage chairs.  By the time I realized what was happening, things began to calm down, but it's a really weird feeling for someone whose idea of a natural disaster is tornado or flood.  We just don't "do" quakes here.  :-)

      -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

      by luckylizard on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 03:16:55 PM PST

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    •  If you will take note of what the diarist has said (8+ / 0-)

      The geology of the midwest and the east is quite different from what's beyond the Rockies.

      You can see the entire area east of the Rockies (to grossly oversimplify) as a single coffee table. What happens at one end of the table will be felt at the other end as well. By contrast, the west in general is broken down into smaller pieces of furniture; what happens on one piece of furniture has little or no effect on the others.

      •  NM Quakes of 1811 Rang the Midwest Like a Bell (2+ / 0-)

        Read that in one of the articles on it and was always a potent image.

        Does that make ground motion more violent for earthquakes of lesser magnitude compared to other areas like the West?

        And if so, does that relate to the rejiggering of seismic risk ratings for the Nuclear Power Plants that's been going on the past few years in the areas that might be affected by that difference in bedrock?

        Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

        by Into The Woods on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 06:52:35 PM PST

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        •  the region was "rediscovered" (3+ / 0-)

          as a hazard due to studies done by the nuclear industry. In the valley at least, I suspect most plants constructed in the 70s are built to handle at least a 7. They are, however, aging.

          [insert pithy sigline here]

          by terrypinder on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 06:55:23 PM PST

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          •  And as we discovered with Fukushima (2+ / 0-)

            some of the assumptions of when off-site power would be restored might be a bit optimistic, especially when it comes to cooling spent fuel.

            And a regional event like a major quake on the NM would strain recovery resources and put the assumptions built into that "built to withstand 7." to a very severe test.  

            Thanks for the great diary.  

             

            Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

            by Into The Woods on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 07:14:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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