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U of M Researchers Participate in Mississippi River Seismic Survey

The third phase of the Mississippi River Seismic Survey took place this summer. Through the five-year project, a group of researchers from the University of Memphis and the University of Texas in cooperation with the U. S. Corps of Engineers, seeks to lift the veil of mystery that lies underneath the stretch of the Mississippi River between Cape Girardeau, MO and Greenville, MS.

The researchers hope to begin answering the following questions:

  • How old is the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ)?
  • Has the NMSZ been the only seismogenic zone in the Embayment or is the seismicity moving around different locations?
  • Do as-yet undiscovered, active fault lines run under the Mississippi River?
  • Water seeks the lowest point. Does the Mississippi river flow the way that it does because fault lines running the length of the river have shaped where those lowest points are?
  • How do the Mississippi River and the aquifer interact with each other?

A day-by-day diary of the project, complete with photos and more, can be viewed at http://www.memphis.edu/riverproject/.

MS River
Brian Waldron (left) and Kirk McIntosh (right) discuss the floatation of the streamer as it has been observed during the expedition using the pressure transducers.

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