Earthquake Research

The scientific community provides CUSEC with the foundational knowledge for reducing the earthquake risk in the central United States.  In the late 1970's, new information about the New Madrid Seismic Zone was being revealed by the scientific and research community.  Armed with this new knowledge, CUSEC was formed as a "coordination hub" to assist the states that could receive the most damage from a New Madrid earthquake. 

In more recent years, we have learned that earthquakes occur in  other parts of the central U.S. as well, that the New Madrid is not the only threat.  The Wabash Valley Seismic Zone and the East Tennessee Seismic Zone are both capable of producing large, damaging earthquakes, that could also impact multiple states. 

The 4.6M April 29, 2003 earthquake near Ft. Payne, Alabama was a wake up call for many residents in Alabama and Tennessee.  This earthquake caused minor damage and was felt in as many as twelve states. 

On April 18, 2008, a 5.2M earthquake near Mt. Carmel, Illinois struck at about 4:30AM local time.  This quake caused damage in at least three states, and was reported felt by nearly 40,000 people in at least 18 states, according to the USGS Did You Feel It? program.

Based on current knowledge, CUSEC is actively involved with the scientific and research community to learn more about earthquakes in the central U.S.  Some of the programs we are involved with include -

  - Strengthening partnerships with other organizations that generate research and sharing relevant information

  - Facilitating the establishment and coordination of post-earthquake regional research response plans

  - Encouraging and supporting applied research findings for state and regional mitigation and planning use

Use the links below to learn more about the current Research Initiatives that CUSEC is involved with...

Association of CUSEC State Geologists Print E-mail

In 1992, the State Geologists from CUSEC Member States organized through a Memorandum of Understanding to address these and similar issues.  In cooperation with the US Geological Survey (USGS), the CUSEC State Geologists began coordinating efforts to map the region and to prepare databases and educational information to assist Federal and State Emergency Management Agency programs with earthquake mitigation, planning and with the design of emergency preparedness programs.

Read More about the CUSEC State Geologists...