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New Technology Offers Clues Into New Madrid Fault

Posted: Oct 6, 2013 9:12 PM by The Associated Press

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CAPE GIRARDEAU - New research by the U.S. Geological Society suggests that while the New Madrid Seismic Zone hasn't produced a major earthquake in more than 200 years, the risk remains.

The Southeast Missourian reports that scientists used new technology to develop high-resolution imagery of the seismic zone centered around New Madrid, Mo. The imagery allows for more detailed mapping, showing weak rocks in the zone that are found at deeper depths in the Earth's mantle compared to surrounding areas.

Findings were published recently in the Earth and Planetary Science Letters journal.

University of Memphis earthquake expert Charles Langston says at least 200 earthquakes occur in the seismic zone every year, but most are very small. He believes there's a good chance of a damaging quake in the next 50 years.

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