Explore the maps

Documenting a disaster

First-hand accounts of the New Madrid earthquakes are rare but colorful: “The ground is going to eat us alive,” wrote one Kentuckian. Although the quakes occurred prior to the advent of photography, geologists documented remnants of the event early in the 20th Century (black squares). Zoom into the earthquake region to see a 1905 geological map.

Comparing catastrophes

The great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire devastated a major U.S. city; the New Madrid quakes struck a frontier region with few large towns. But the area affected by the New Madrid earthquakes was more than ten times the size of the California event. A similar earthquake today would have severe impacts on cities such as Memphis, St. Louis, and Little Rock.

Chronicle of a restless Earth

Although Americans associate earthquakes with California, the recent Virginia quake was a reminder that Earth’s crust is active and unpredictable almost everywhere. Zoom into this map to view successively more recent earthquakes. The central Mississippi valley continues to be the most active seismic zone in the eastern U.S.

Preparing for Disaster

Esri’s Disaster Viewer charts recent and ongoing natural events around the world. Earthquakes occur almost constantly across the globe, and are concentrated near the boundaries of tectonic plates, whose gradual movements create strains that can trigger abrupt shifts along fault lines.

Full Screen Disaster Viewer




Unlike hurricanes, for which communities usually have several days’ advanced notice, earthquakes are notoriously unpredictable. That’s not to say that households can’t prepare for earthquakes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ready.gov site advises that families build an emergency kit, make a family communications plan, and secure heavy items to reduce the likelihood of injuries. The site also gives advice on what to do during and after an earthquake.

Ready.gov's Earthquake page

Disaster Preperation Links

Esri’s Disaster Viewer charts recent and ongoing natural events around the world. Earthquakes occur almost constantly across the globe, and are concentrated near the boundaries of tectonic plates, whose gradual movements create strains that can trigger abrupt shifts along fault lines.

Full Screen Disaster Viewer




Unlike hurricanes, for which communities usually have several days’ advanced notice, earthquakes are notoriously unpredictable. That’s not to say that households can’t prepare for earthquakes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ready.gov site advises that families build an emergency kit, make a family communications plan, and secure heavy items to reduce the likelihood of injuries. The site also gives advice on what to do during and after an earthquake.

Ready.gov's Earthquake page

San Francisco Earthquake

1906

New Madrid Earthquake

1811