Reporters/Editors: RSVP by contacting Jennifer LaVista at the number listed above. Please do not visit the plane at the airport or elsewhere outside of this scheduled time.
Journalists are invited to view the airplane being used by the U.S. Geological Survey to study the magnetic field of the earth, which may help map locate shallow concealed faults associated with the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
For the next month, an airplane operated by EDCON-PRJ will be making low-level flights over an 1800-square-mile area including Blytheville, Ark., Kennett, Mo., Piggott, Ark., and Qulin, Mo., along with other parts of southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, and western Tennessee.
These flights are part of an ongoing USGS earthquake research program to identify hidden geologic features, such as faults and changes in rock types, thus providing a better understanding of the earthquake hazards of the area.
For the last 40 years, the New Madrid area has been the most seismically active region in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Although no knowledge of an imminent large earthquake exists, the USGS has serious concerns about the potential repeat of a destructive earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone, like those that occurred in the winter of 1811–1812.
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