I will have to check on how this links works in real time. http://climate.cod.edu/flanis/1km.php?loop=1&type=vis®ion=Arkansas&numimages=48 It is showing plume activity along the New Madrid fault zone, as I understand is a precursor to major fault activity. Then an hour later March 1st, 2012 there was a 2.9 magnitude earthquake in the Tennessee region of the fault zone. I have gone over my exaggerated conspiracy theory of the New Madrid Fault zone in the comment section of the Ellis County Observer in the past. However, I am basing my low-end predictions to catastrophic predictions based on hours and hours of reading and research. I was accused of having too much time on my hands. I take that as a compliment, but seriously, there is something worth digging in to regarding the New Madrid Seismic zone.
First, I will make mention 1811/1812 earthquakes on the New Madrid Fault that literally made the Mississippi River run backwards and lifted islands where there were none and rang church bells in Boston. The area was relatively unoccupied, compared to today. Millions of people could be affected if a big quake went off in the New Madrid zone. h
Second is liquefaction, this would be the concern for surrounding areas and regions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquefaction
Then there is the Farallon Plate. Science says it has taken 75 million years for this plate to migrate from the west coast of the USA and is now under the New Madrid Seismic zone. These types of plates contribute to subduction zones. The New Madrid area is a subduction zone. The Marianas Trench, the deepest place on the planet, was created by a subduction zone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farallon_Plate
A new fault line discovered in Mariana, Arkansas http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/01/090122-arkansas-ea-AP.html could possibly be connected to the New Madrid Seismic zone. Some geologist suggest that the New Madrid zone may actually extend from the Great Lakes all the way the Gulf of Mexico. But the way the plates are formed, it is very difficult to get accurate readings of the subterranean make-up of the area. http://www.semp.us/publications/biot_reader.php?BiotID=328
In May, the federal government simulated an earthquake so massive, it killed 100,000 Midwesterners instantly, and forced more than 7 million people out of their homes. At the time, National Level Exercise 11 went largely unnoticed; the scenario seemed too far-fetched — states like Illinois and Missouri are in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at the edge of one. A major quake happens there once every several generations.
National Level Exercise 11, or NLE 11, was, in essence, a replay of a disaster that happened 200 years earlier. On Dec. 16, 1811, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit the New Madrid fault line, which lies on the border region of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. It’s by far the largest earthquake ever to strike the United States east of the Rockies. Up to 129,000 square kilometers [50,000 square miles] were hit with “raised or sunken lands, fissures, sinks, sand blows, and large landslides,” according to the U.S. Geological Service. “Huge waves on the Mississippi River overwhelmed many boats and washed others high onto the shore. High banks caved and collapsed into the river; sand bars and points of islands gave way; whole islands disappeared.” People as far away as New York City were awakened by the shaking.
More quakes, of a similar size, followed. But the loss of life was minimal: Not too many people lived in the area at the time. Today, there are more than 15 million people living in the quake zone. If a similar quake hit, “7.2 million people could be displaced, with 2 million seeking temporary shelter” in the first three days, FEMA Associate Adminsitrator William Carwile told a Congressional panel in 2010. “Direct economic losses for the eight states could total nearly $300 billion, while indirect losses at least twice that amount.”