The western US is often recognized as earthquake country, but the central US also has significant seismic risks. Dozens of earthquakes of magnitude 4 and greater have occurred within the past decade in the central US. Most of these earthquakes have occurred far from the nearest plate boundary on seismically active zones where the crust had been faulted previously and reactivated by present plate tectonics. Many of these seismic zones located in the central US have produced historic earthquakes that were devastating in their effects. The devastating New Madrid, Missouri earthquake sequence of 1811-1812, for which the New Madrid seismic zone is named, is a great example.
Use the links below to learn more about the science behind earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.