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News Release

July 15, 2013
Jennifer LaVista 303-202-4764
Rick Blakely 650-269-6726

Aircraft Studying New Madrid Seismic Zone on Display

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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.

Who: Richard Blakely, USGS Geophysicist, Menlo Park, Calif.
Michael Hobbs, EDCON-PRJ VP of Airborne Acquisition, Lakewood, Colo.
Joe Nance, Pilot, CloudStreet Flying Service, Fort Collins, Colo.

What: Reporters will get a close-up look at the plane and, weather permitting, see airborne survey demonstrations. There will be opportunity to ask questions about the geologic and earthquake hazard implications of the survey.

Where:   Blytheville Municipal Airport
5349 N State Highway 980
Blytheville, Arkansas 72315
*Please note – the municipal airport is northeast of Blytheville -not to be confused with the location of the Arkansas International Airport, which is northwest of Blytheville.

When: Wed., July 17, 2013
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Central Time)

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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