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The New Madrid Seismic Zone: Not Dead Yet

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Science  14 Feb 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6172, pp. 762-764
DOI: 10.1126/science.1248215

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Rolling Under New Madrid

During 1811–1812, the New Madrid Seismic Zone experienced a sequence of three large intraplate earthquakes and at least one comparably sized aftershock. There have been no earthquakes of similar magnitudes since then. Using a combination of historical data dating back to the original large events and an epidemic-type aftershock sequence model, Page and Hough (p. 762, published online 23 January) found that the current low seismicity is not part of an aftershock sequence. Instead, despite low observable deformation rates, there is ongoing accumulation of strain, leaving the potential for large earthquakes in the region.

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