The New Madrid fault zone (NMFZ) is a long-established weakness in the Earth’s crust in the central and eastern US where earthquakes have occurred for hundreds of millions of years. The Shake It Out event is drawing large annual turnouts, including both Indiana and Missouri boasting each a half a million participants, according to Shake It Out’s graphs.

The New Madrid fault zone is six times larger than the San Andreas fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. The New Madrid Seismic Zone (/ ˈ m æ d r ɪ d /), sometimes called the New Madrid Fault Line, is a major seismic zone and a prolific source of intraplate earthquakes (earthquakes within a tectonic plate) in the southern and midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Missouri.. The New Madrid seismic zone is a source of continuing small and moderate earthquakes, which attest to the high stress in the region and indicate that the processes that produced the large earthquakes over the previous 4,500 years, are still operating. Today, that rift system and the faults associated with it are known as the New Madrid fault zone. If and when the New Madrid fault line gives way, it will amount to catastrophe unlike any we’ve seen. New Madrid earthquakes of 1811–12, series of three large earthquakes that occurred near New Madrid, Missouri, between December 1811 and February 1812. This model is overly simplistic because New Madrid seismicity continues 30 km southeast of the stepover. The New Madrid seismic zone of the central Mississippi River valley has been interpreted to be a right-lateral strike-slip fault zone with a left stepover restraining bend (Reelfoot reverse fault). The New Madrid Fault System has also been called the New Madrid Fault Line and also the New Madrid Seismic Zone. This fault zone is six times larger than the San Andreas fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. There were thousands of aftershocks, of which 1,874 were large enough to be felt in Louisville, Kentucky, about 190 miles (300 km) away. About the New Madrid Fault One of the most prominent features on the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Seismic Hazard map is the red high hazard zone surrounding the New Madrid Seismic Zone; as high as other western areas famous for quake activity. Back in 1811 and 1812, four of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history struck that area of the country. It is the most seismically active area of the United States east of the Rockies.

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