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The New Madrid Seismic Zone.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering, Engineering Geology and Geophysics.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Mississippi River Valley, is hardly known as an earthquake zone, but may in fact be a natural disaster just waiting to happen. Historical records and paleoseismic investigations have shown that large magnitude earthquakes have occurred in the area and there are constantly microquakes all along the New Madrid Fault System. The inhabitants of the Midwest are living in a death trap so long society doesn’t preoperly prepare for earthquakes. The study presented here aims to prove that, as predicting earthquakes is difficult to the point of impossible, the only serious alternative is to reinforce existing buildings and infrastructure and make sure all new developments are seismically safe. The conclusion reached is, that although expensive, building earthquake safe and retrofitting existing buildings, is for the high risk areas by far cheaper than doing nothing when, not if, a new large magnitude earthquake occurs. For a city in the high risk area, the cost of retrofitting the current structures was 13 billion dollar to be compared with the 100 billion dollars in lost lives and properties of a worst case scenario.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 30 p.
, TRITA-LWR Degree Project, ISSN 1651-064X ; LWR-EX-11-19
Keyword [en]
Earthquake, Liquefaction, Disaster Prevention, New Madrid Seismic Zone, Risk Analysis, Arkansas, Memphis, Mercalli Intensity Scale, Seismic Building Codes
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-96112OAI: diva2:529591
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Urban Management
Available from: 2012-05-30 Created: 2012-05-30 Last updated: 2012-05-30Bibliographically approved

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