The Mississippi River Project
Sunset on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River Project: Day 1 features

Because we left the Tunica area to begin our journey further north from Randolph, we had an overnight stay in Millington just north of Memphis, but still in Shelby County, TN.  This placed us within 30-45 minutes of Randolph by vehicle.

The M/V Strong was waiting for us at Randolph landing.  Not much time passed between our departure from land and the point at which we were deployed and collecting data.  This first leg of our new trek would take us 16 miles downriver to Shelby Forest landing.  It was certainly a long day.  Steffen performed a rough stack of the previous days’ seismic data acquisition.  We could see structure.  It was thought that we would only see structure to ~0.5 seconds, but because of our Michael Jackson moonwalk down the river, we were seeing structure beyond one second.  This time translates to just over half a mile, or nearly 3000 feet below the subsurface.  Remarkable.

We are looking for faulting that can be translated from depth up to the shallow units or just below ground surface.  Such faulting would indicate recent activity.  Recent activity translates to a more local, probable impeding disaster should a major earthquake hit the region.  Of course this is just one of the facets of this research.  The other two are: (1) the probable mobilization of the Mississippi River riverbed during an earthquake event which would greatly impact navigation on the river and (2) the observed physical connection between the Mississippi River and the regional ground-water system (thus relating to quantity and quality issues).

It was a long day.  We ate dinner at Old Timer’s in Millington that serves good, home cooking.  Afterwards we retired to the hotel pool where a game of pool volleyball ensued.  Brian, Steffen and Beatrice against Kirk, Leah and Michael.  We needed the break.  After two hours of playing, Kirk (The Kirk-a-nator) and team won the winner-takes-all match.

A scientific explanation of the research

Meet the researchers

Journal Entries

Press Coverage

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Last Updated: 1/23/12