(KFVS) - New technology is giving scientists a closer than ever before at the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area includes a huge portion of the Heartland.
Technology allowed scientists to put together maps of the area and experts say they now have better understanding of the weak rocks in this zone.
Fred Pollitz, a USGS scientist who worked on this research, said a surprising finding was that weak rocks underlie the fault lines and extend more than 100 miles down. He said other areas bottom out much sooner.
"With the new high-resolution imagery, we can see in greater detail that the New Madrid Seismic Zone is mechanically weaker than surrounding areas and therefore concentrates movement and stress in a narrow area," said USGS scientist Fred Pollitz, who is the lead author of this research. "The structure beneath this zone is unique when compared to adjacent areas in the central and eastern United States. A more in-depth understanding of such zones of weakness ultimately helps inform decisions such as the adoption of appropriate building codes to protect vulnerable communities, while also providing insight that could be applied to other regions across the world."
Pollitz said any place that has had earthquakes in the past will have them again. It's a matter of determining when it will happen.