Slow deformation and lower seismic hazard at the New Madrid seismic zone

Andrew Newman, Seth Stein*, John Weber, Joseph Engeln, Ailin Mao, Timothy Dixon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements across the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) in the central United States show little, if any, motion. These data are consistent with platewide continuous GPS data away from the NMSZ, which show no motion within uncertainties. Both these data and the frequency-magnitude relation for seismicity imply that had the largest shocks in the series of earthquakes that occurred in 1811 and 1812 been magnitude 8, their recurrence interval should well exceed 2500 years, longer than has been assumed. Alternatively, the largest 1811 and 1812 earthquakes and those in the paleoseismic record may have been much smaller than typically assumed. Hence, the hazard posed by great earthquakes in the NMSZ appears to be overestimated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-621
Number of pages3
Issue number5414
StatePublished - Apr 23 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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