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Earth Science

Midwestern Fault Zones Are Still Alive 115

sciencehabit writes "The occasional quakes rattling the New Madrid Seismic Zone, a series of Midwestern faults named for a small town in the Missouri Bootheel, aren't aftershocks of the massive quakes that rocked our fledgling nation more than 2 centuries ago, a new study suggests. In other words, modern-day quakes are signs that the faults in the region are still accumulating stress—and sometimes releasing it as fresh rumblings."
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Midwestern Fault Zones Are Still Alive

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  • No kidding? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @08:03PM (#46052191)

    Seriously, who writes this stuff? I remember a minor earthquake we had in Michigan in the mid-80s. Why would they suddenly stop? Geological activity occurs over geological time scales, which is to say, thousands, even millions of years.

  • Re:Oh, Frack (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2014 @08:04PM (#46052199)

    Can't be all that juice pumped into the ground.

    Well it could be. But you've just demonstrated the difference between faith and science. You have faith that fracking is bad and thus ascribe to it all manner of devilry. Meanwhile scientists collect and study the data, trying to eliminate theories, rather than just seizing onto one charismatic idea to cherish and hold as the One True Faith.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2014 @08:43PM (#46052485)

    Still have a few oil company shills lurking the influential threads of Slashdot, I see.

  • Astounding! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Thursday January 23, 2014 @08:55PM (#46052555) Homepage Journal

    The Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, or about 1/22,500,000th older than it was when the last major earthquake hit in New Madrid.

    For comparison, that's like being surprised that the US is roughly the same as it was 5.5 minutes ago.

    Other fun Deep Time trivia: if the entire Earth's history were compressed into a 24 hour day, with the start being midnight yesterday and the current time being midnight tonight, then its surface was overrun with dinosaurs at 11:40PM. Modern Man came on the scene around 11:59:56PM.

  • Re:Oh, Frack (Score:4, Insightful)

    by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:38PM (#46053165)

    Correlation doesn't equal causation.

    That said, there is a statistical incidence that wants to correlate heavy fracking with earthquakes. Whether the New Madrid is just unstable, or becoming unstabilized with mounting fracking is unknown. The statistical correlation between seismic movements and fracking remains, however.

    So turn on the tap, and light your cigar.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @11:17PM (#46053323)

    Still have a few oil company shills lurking the influential threads of Slashdot, I see.

    There is a LOT of oil money from the Gulf trying to put a lid on Fracking. Nice to see the AC's are getting paid handsomely to try and stomp out independence from a barbaric region of the earth.

  • Re:So obvious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @11:47PM (#46053547)

    Ends don't justify the means. You all but admit the monetary motivations. I don't justify the maltreatment of people anywhere. Not even in Texas.

    Nah, even those University of Texas resources can't be believed.

    Tell me this: are you an astroturfer? Do you get paid to shill for these guys? I'll take an honest answer. If you really believe this, I'll criticize no further.

    We're far from agreement on the issue of fracking, however. I believe it's detrimental, and holds down the inevitable transition to other less-caustic fuel sources.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Friday January 24, 2014 @02:40AM (#46054089)

    It's all y'all's fault.

    Y'all == singular
    All y'all == plural
    Y'all's == y'all need to go back to grammar school.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!