NEW MADRID, Mo. – Two small earthquakes rumbled Friday in the Missouri bootheel, one of the Midwest’s most infamous earthquake zones.
The earthquakes were reported from near similar spots in southeastern Missouri. The U.S. Geological Survey tracked both earthquakes about six miles from New Madrid near the state-dividing lines for Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The first earthquake was reported at a 1.8 magnitude with a 9 km depth around 3:20 a.m. Later in the morning, another earthquake was reported at a 2.1 magnitude with an 8 km depth around 9:15 a.m. A map below based on U.S. Geological Survey data shows just how close the epicenters of both earthquakes were to each other.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone, located in southeast Missouri and adjacent states (Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Illinois), is the most seismically active area in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. This zone generated a massive family of quakes between 1811 and 1812 that changed the course of the Mississippi River. Experts believe the New Madrid Zone has been responsible for magnitude 7 to 8 intensity earthquakes about every 500 years over the past 1,200 years.