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New Madrid Fault Assignment


You are to assume the role of a seismologist. You have been hired by the Carbondale, Illinois Chamber of Commerce to write a short, one page minimum (not including figures), report about the New Madrid Fault and the earthquake activity in the area.

The report should be written for new home owners in the area. It should introduce them to the New Madrid Fault. It should discuss the type of fault, the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes in the area, and the reasons (theories) why the fault is active even though it is not on a plate boundary. Please use you own words in your discussion.

Also, your report should give the homeowners "expert" advice on whether or not to buy earthquake insurance. You must justify all your conclusions.

Please include the references you used at the end of the report. You are encouraged to include pictures and figures in you document if they help you in your discussion.

This assignment came from UIUC

Good books

Four good starting points to read about the New Madrid Fault are:

Penick, J.L., Jr., 1981, The New Madrid earthquakes, revised edition: Columbia, Mo., University of Missouri Press, 176 p. (reads like a novel, with lots of historical data)

Fuller, M. L., 1912, The New Madrid earthquakes: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 494, 119 p. ( A thorough investigation, on horseback, 100 years after the quake).

Johnston, A. C., 1982, A major earthquake zone on the Mississippi:
Scientific American, v. 246, no. 4, p. 60-68.

Hamilton, R. M., and Johnston, A. C., eds., 1990, Tecumseh's prophecy: preparing for the next New Madrid earthquake:  U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1066, 30 p. (reviewing where we were in 1990, and plans for future research)


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