New Madrid Seismic Zone Airborne Lidar Survey

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The New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) in southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas has been responsible for producing some of the largest intraplate earthquakes on record. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program provided funding for a collaborative effort to acquire several thousand  square kilometers of airborne lidar data and derivative bare-earth ground models to support earthquake hazard studies in the NMSZ. The terrain surveyed includes coverage of the surface projection of the Commerce Fault near Qulin, Missouri, the Reelfoot Fault near New Madrid, Missouri, and the Cottonwood Grove Fault near Blytheville, Arkansas. Geologic studies of sand blows and the Reelfoot Fault show that earthquakes occurred over the last 4,000 years at intervals of approximately 400–600 years. Ground surface deformations caused by earthquake faulting can often be identified in high-resolution lidar imagery.

Author Name
Rob Williams
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