Nicole Erwin, Ohio Valley ReSource

  In the rich land of Christian County, wheat is milled for McDonald’s biscuits, corn is turned into ethanol, and grazing cows support the state’s leading dairy. This is Kentucky’s breadbasket, and a river runs through it: the South Fork of Little River.

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A small earthquake occurred in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in far western Kentucky Tuesday night. According to the University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information a magnitude 2.4 earthquake happened 6.2 miles west of Bardwell. 


  A 3.5 magnitude earthquake centered in Ballard County struck early Sunday morning. NOAA Meteorologist Kevin Smith says most quakes in this region are below a 2.5 magnitude and are hardly felt at all. Smith says the epicenter was around 8.5 miles deep, whereas most earthquakes bottom out at six.

In its first One-Year Seismic Hazard Forecast, the United States Geological Survey indicates an increased short-term risk for natural earthquakes in the New Madrid seismic zone for 2016. The forecast is also the first to show potential ground-shaking hazards from both human-induced and natural earthquakes.


USGS Scientists Bill Ellsworth and Oliver Boyd join Kate Lochte on Sounds Good to speak about regional work involving earthquakes and the New Madrid Fault Line. Ellsworth’s research says injection-induced earthquakes are more prevalent than fracking induced earthquakes. Boyd explains the Missouri Bootheel aeromagnetic survey going on now, tracking seismic activity on certain areas of the fault and furthering research to learn about the faults and to better predict future earthquakes.

New Madrid Airborne Survey

Jul 9, 2013
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  The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting low-level flights across sections of the New Madrid earthquake seismic zone. The USGS will begin conducting the flights tomorrow over a 1,400-square-mile area across southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas and western Tennessee.