New Madrid Seismic Zone

small panda bear logoBetween December 24, 1989 and June 17, 1992,an experiment using eighty high- and low- gain Portable Array for Numeric Data Acquisition system (PANDA) was conducted by Professor Jer-Ming Chiu to study:

  • polarization of high-frequency three-component seismic waves
  • seismotectonics
  • imaging active faults in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ)
  • shear wave velocity and shear-wave splitting from local earthquake waveforms in the sedimentary basin
  • source property and rupture properties of clustered microearthquakes near intersecting intraplate faults
  • constrained joint location of NMSZ earthquakes.

The network code for this temporary deployment was assigned by the Federation of Digital Seismographic Network (FDSN) as "XE". Related publications are listed at the bottom of this page.

This project was funded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), the University of Memphis. logo us geological survey     


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A Little PANDA History

The portable array for numerical data acquisition (PANDA) designed by Jer-Ming Chiu, Greg Steiner, and Arch Johnston, was built in-house at CERI. The design goal was a transportable set of instruments that could record high-quality seismic data.By making modifications to traditional seismic network technology and using a super-microcomputer work station for digital data acquisition, this array provided a set of reliable and cost-effective instruments for the collection and analysis of high-resolution seismic data.


PANDA died a good death after surviving 30 years of service in New Madrid Missouri, Taiwan, San Juan, Argentina, Hawaii, New Zealand, etc., being a victim of a typhoon, and ultimately old age.



Polarization analysis of high-frequency three-component seismic data, (1991), Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 81(2), 622-642, Bataille, K., and J.M. Chiu.

PANDA: a simple, portable seismic array for local- to regional-scale seismic experiments, (1991), Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 81(3), 1000-1014, J.M. Chiu, G. Steiner, R. Smalley, and A.C. Johnston.

Imaging of active faults of the central New Madrid seismic zone using PANDA array data, (1992), Seismol. Res. Lett., 63(3), 375-393, Chiu, J.M., A.C. Johnston, and Y.T. Yang.

The PANDA II system and its software for seismic data processing, (1993), IESER93-006, pp. 28, Chen, K.C., Y.H. Yeh, Y.T. Yeh, and J.M. Chiu.

Qp - Qs relations in the sedimentary basin in the upper Mississippi embayment using converted waves, (1994), Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 84, 1861-1868. Chen, K.C., J.M. Chiu, and Y.T. Yang.

Shear-wave velocity of the sedimentary basin in the upper Mississippi embayment using S-to-P converted waves, (1996), Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 86(3), 848-856, 1996. Chen, K.C., J.M. Chiu, and Y.T. Yang.

The design goals of PANDA, PANDA II, and PANDA III seismic arrays and their applications to regional seismic network monitoring, (1996), Proceedings of the Korea-China International Joint Seminar and Seismological Workshop, Seoul, Korea, Jan. 29-31, 1996, S.K. Kim, Ed., Hanyang University, 37-45, J.M. Chiu, and G. Steiner and Y.C. Teng.

Shear-wave splitting from microearthquakes in the New Madrid seismic zone, (1993), Can. J. Expl. Geophys., 29, 352-362. H.J. Rowlands, D.C. Booth, and J.M. Chiu.

Complexity in high-frequency seismic waveforms due to three-dimensional structure in the New Madrid seismic zone, (1996), J. Geophys. Res., 101, 5751-5778, Xie, J., L. Cong, B.J. Mitchell, and J.M. Chiu.

Rupture properties of clustered microearthquakes near intersecting intraplate faults of New Madrid seismic zone: implications for fault weakening, (1997), J. Geophys. Res., 102(B4), 8187-8202, J. Xie, Z. Liu, L. Cong, R.B. Herrmann, and J.M. Chiu.

Refinement of the thrust faulting models for the Central New Madrid seismic zone, (1997), Engineering Geology, 46, 281-298, J. Pujol, A.C. Johnston, J.M. Chiu, and Y.T. Yang.

Seismicity of the southeastern margin of Reelfoot rift, Central United States, (1997), Seismol. Res. Lett., 68(5), 785-796, S.C. Chiu, J.M. Chiu, and A.C. Johnston.

Source properties of four microearthquakes in the New Madrid seismic zone, (1997), J. Geol. Soc. China, 40(2), 435-451, Chen, K.C., J.M. Chiu, and W.Y. Chung.

The significance of the crustal velocity models in local earthquake locations from a case example of PANDA experiment in the central U.S. (1997), Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 87(6), 1536-1552, J.M. Chiu, S.C. Chiu, and S.G. Kim.

Constrained joint location of New Madrid seismic zone earthquakes, (1998), Seismol. Res. Lett., 69(1), 56-68, J. Pujol, R. Herrmann, S.C. Chiu, and J.M. Chiu.

Three-dimensional P-wave velocity structure in the New Madrid Seismic zone based upon PANDA arrival time data, (2000), J. Geophys. Res., 105(B4), 7999-8011, Vlahovic, G., C.A. Powell, and J.M. Chiu.

A simple algorithm for local earthquake location using 3-dimensional Vp and Vs models – test examples in the central USA and Taiwan regions, (2006), BSSA, 96(1), 288-305, H. Chen, J.M. Chiu, J. Pujol, K.H. Kim, K.C. Chen, B.S. Huang, Y.H. Yeh, and S.C. Chiu.