The Great New Madrid, Missouri (U.S.A.) Earthquake Of 1811-1812


The series of earthquakes that occurred along the New Madrid Fault System in 1811 and 1812 probably was as large as any earthquakes that ever occurred in eastern North America. The magnitude of each of the four major shocks exceeded M2 = 8.4, and the effects of these shocks were felt with a Modified Mercalli Intensity V or greater over approximately 2.5 million km2. Because the epicenters were located in a sparsely settled region of the American frontier, there was little loss of life or damage. However, eyewitness accounts of those who lived through the shocks have provided striking accounts of the high levels of ground motion the region experienced. Thus, the historical record gives engineering geologists a good indication of the catastrophic damage that could result if earthquakes of similar magnitude would occur today. © 1990 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1432-0495; 0099-0094

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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Publication Date

01 Jul 1990