Three large earthquakes, the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12 occurred near New Madrid, Missouri between December 1811 and February 1812. There were over a thousand aftershocks. Around 1,874 could be felt up to Louisville, Kentucky, which is almost 190 mi away. Researchers believe that there were probably only a few deaths from the earthquakes. The area affected by the earthquakes was small. The major shock occurred at 2:05 AM on December 16, 1811.

It was caused by movement on the Cottonwood Grove Fault, Arkansas. In the 48 hours that followed, it was followed by three powerful aftershocks that had magnitudes between 6.0 and 7.0. Despite being so powerful, the tremors did not cause any damage to human-made buildings. These included collapsing chimneys and falling trees. Some areas were flooded, others were raised. Large sand blasts, caused by soil-liquefaction, decimated agricultural land in Missouri and Arkansas. Large sand blows caused by soil liquefaction in the east United States destroyed farmland in states like Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The “dawn followingshock,” which struck at 7:15 am, was the strongest of the three earthquakes. The second earthquake was on January 23. It was also the smallest. The main earthquake occurred at 9:15am. Its magnitude is estimated to have been about 7.5. It is not known where the epicenter of the earthquake was. It is believed that the epicenter was located in New Madrid, Missouri along a fault running perpendicular to the Reelfoot Fault.

Although no damage was noticed in the area, it is believed that landscape changes such as those on December 16 may have occurred. The epicenter of the shocks occurred near New Madrid in Missouri. It struck at 3:45 AM and caused the destruction of New Madrid. St. Louis in Missouri also sustained structural damage. Ground vibration caused several chimneys to fall. Many factors contributed to the destruction of the landscape, including ground vibration, sinking and uplift, ground cracking, stream bank calving, ground cracking, and landslides. Lake St. Francis, Arkansas, is also a body that formed as a result of subsidence due to earlier earthquakes in New Madrid. Flatboat operators claimed that the flow of Mississippi River suddenly reversed. However, research has shown that the earthquakes created northward-moving waves of water that made it appear that the river had reversed.

The New Madrid earthquakes, which were three major earthquakes, occurred in New Madrid, Missouri, between December 1811 and February 1812. Although they were believed to be the strongest earthquakes, it has been proved otherwise. The earthquake caused significant damage to buildings and structures built by humans, but it also created stunning things such as Lake St. Francis and Arkansas’ spectacular landscape.

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