New Madrid

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New Madrid

New Madrid (măˈdrĭd), city (2000 pop. 3,334), seat of New Madrid co., extreme SE Mo., on Mississippi River at the sweeping New Madrid Bend; inc. 1808. A river port, the city is protected by high levees; cotton, wood products, and telecommunications shelters are produced, and aluminum is processed. Laid out (1789) when under Spanish rule, the city has been moved several times as the Mississippi has shifted, and the original townsite is under the river. In the Civil War, Federal troops captured New Madrid before taking (1862) nearby Island No. 10 (now vanished).

The city has given its name to the New Madrid Fault System, which runs SW to NE from NE Arkansas and W Tennessee through SE Missouri and W Kentucky into S Illinois. Numerous earthquakes have occurred in this seismic zone, most notably the severe earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, a time when the region was still thinly populated. The three quakes reversed the flow of the Mississippi, created Reelfort Lake in Tennessee, rang church bells in Boston, and were felt in Canada and Charleston, S.C.

Bibliography

See studies by J. L. Penick (rev. ed., 1982), M. L. Fuller (4th ed., 1995), and J. Feldman (2006).

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References in periodicals archive ?
The New Madrid fault system was responsible for the series of earthquakes in 1811-1812 that measured over seven of the Richter scale.
The students are also at a relatively high risk of seeing a major earthquake event centered on the New Madrid fault system in their lifetime, which could cause major damage and loss of life in Northwest Mississippi.
The New Madrid fault system averages more than 200 earthquakes per year.