Arkansas Earthquake Center News - January 2010
Feds Award UALR Grant to Establish Earthquake Watchdog
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The U.S. Department of Interior has awarded UALR a $454,449 grant to establish the
Arkansas Seismic Observatory to monitor earthquake activity in the central United States.
Dr. Haydar Al-Shukri, chair of UALR’s Department of Applied Science in the Donaghey
College of Engineering and Information Technology, and Dr. Hanan Mahdi, research
assistant professor in the Graduate Institute of Technology, sought the grant to
install and operate six broadband state-of-the-art seismic stations to enhance the
capability of earthquake monitoring in the central United States in general and in
Arkansas in particular.
A six-component strong ground motion station will also be installed within the
seismically active part of the New Madrid fault system in the northeast part of
Arkansas. The sensors will give scientists a better handle on seismic activity on
the New Madrid Fault, major seismic zone and the source of earthquakes within the
tectonic plate in the southern and Midwestern U.S.
In addition to monitoring the seismicity in the region, the stations will be integrated
into the Advanced National Seismic System that is operated by the U.S. States Geological
The New Madrid fault system was responsible for the 1811–12 New Madrid Earthquakes
and may have the potential to produce large earthquakes in the future. Since 1812
frequent smaller earthquakes were recorded for the area.
Earthquakes that occur there potentially threaten parts of seven U.S. states: Illinois,
Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
The observatory will help communities in hazard mitigation and early warning, provide
public education and community outreach, and collect high-quality data to help the
scientific community to better understand seismic activity and its risk in the region.
The observatory will provide real-time information on seismic activity to allow for
rapid response by responsible government agencies such as the U.S. States Geological Survey, the Arkansas Geological Survey, and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.
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