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Author Topic: The New Madrid Fault Zone  (Read 6504 times)

SSR_317

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2021, 08:52:52 PM »

A massive event in this area will destroy the economy.  River traffic may be impacted / slowed moving crops to New Orleans to export.  Cross country cargo & rail will be hampered.  I doubt the crack on the Memphis I-55 bridge woke up anyone, but it should have to the fragile nature of our bridge systems.

Not to mention the lack of adequate redundancy of highway crossings over the Mississippi in the Memphis metro area. But it will most certainly be a major hit of the whole nation's economy.

Also, the FedEx Express air superhub is in Memphis.

Makes you wonder about their business continuity plans!
I would assume part of the “backup”/disaster plan would involve rerouting at least some of that air hub traffic to their smaller, but still sizable, hub operation out of IND
IND is in fact the "National Hub" for FedEx (MEM is their "World Hub"), but Indy could still suffer damage from a sizable New Madrid temblor. But it would likely be repaired much more quickly than MEM could be, given the likely epicenter of such a quake. I'm also sure that FedEx executives have adequate disaster plans in place to deal with such a scenario.
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mukade

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2021, 09:18:47 PM »

FedEx is an excellent company, and I am sure they have serious business continuity plans. But that is not really the point. If there was an earthquake like there was in 1811 and 1812, Memphis would suffer seriously. To some extent, the impact on FedEx probably would depend a lot on how many of the aircraft in their fleet would be on the ground at the time.

Indianapolis is the "national hub" and Memphis is the "SuperHub". There are also hubs in Oakland, Newark, Fort Worth, Anchorage, and other cities in the US.  I have no numbers, but when I look at the live flights in a mobile app when FedEx planes are most active, I would guestimate that Memphis gets 3X or 4X the number of flights as Indy, and Indy gets more flights than the other smaller hubs. 100% anecdotal. Also, Memphis is active all day while the other hubs are not.
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edwaleni

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #27 on: November 26, 2021, 11:38:18 PM »

FedEx is an excellent company, and I am sure they have serious business continuity plans. But that is not really the point. If there was an earthquake like there was in 1811 and 1812, Memphis would suffer seriously. To some extent, the impact on FedEx probably would depend a lot on how many of the aircraft in their fleet would be on the ground at the time.

Indianapolis is the "national hub" and Memphis is the "SuperHub". There are also hubs in Oakland, Newark, Fort Worth, Anchorage, and other cities in the US.  I have no numbers, but when I look at the live flights in a mobile app when FedEx planes are most active, I would guestimate that Memphis gets 3X or 4X the number of flights as Indy, and Indy gets more flights than the other smaller hubs. 100% anecdotal. Also, Memphis is active all day while the other hubs are not.

FedEx Memphis appears to have the largest amount of equipment on the ground between 8PM-2AM. So if a serious quake were to strike the NMFZ at say 11PM or midnight;

And it damaged the airport so badly that aircraft could not come or go, I would say it would severely impact any service they operate.

Yes, they could divert to another hub to operate, but there is a chance that a large percentage of their air fleet would be stuck in Memphis due to the timing of the tremblor.
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Rick Powell

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2021, 01:31:11 AM »

I checked the Illinois side on I-255 and none have external remediation, so I can't tell if it was designed in or will require replacement. Many of the support structures on I-255 south of I-70/I-55 have rebar exposures and will require some kind of work in the next 10 years.

Perhaps Rick Powell has some insight on this generation design for IDOT, since they follow the same design pattern all the way to Jefferson Barracks.

I did a spot check of the ages of the 255 corridor bridges and they were built in the mid 80s. IDOT was doing more advanced seismic design and retrofit starting in the 90s and increasing retrofitting starting in the mid 2000s. The 255 corridor is in seismic zone 2 of IDOTs 4 tier seismic map, so not as critical as the southern tip of the state. I am not sure of what, if any, retrofit has been performed on the 255 corridor.
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edwaleni

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2021, 09:28:45 PM »

I checked the Illinois side on I-255 and none have external remediation, so I can't tell if it was designed in or will require replacement. Many of the support structures on I-255 south of I-70/I-55 have rebar exposures and will require some kind of work in the next 10 years.

Perhaps Rick Powell has some insight on this generation design for IDOT, since they follow the same design pattern all the way to Jefferson Barracks.

I did a spot check of the ages of the 255 corridor bridges and they were built in the mid 80s. IDOT was doing more advanced seismic design and retrofit starting in the 90s and increasing retrofitting starting in the mid 2000s. The 255 corridor is in seismic zone 2 of IDOTs 4 tier seismic map, so not as critical as the southern tip of the state. I am not sure of what, if any, retrofit has been performed on the 255 corridor.

I did read (since I posted on this) that IDOT is planning to repair/refit several bridges on I-255 between IL-3 north to I-64.

There is a lot of rebar exposure in this segment. It would be interesting to see when the bid sheets come out if seismic work will be included.

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Stephane Dumas

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2021, 06:35:18 PM »

I saw a interesting vlog about the New Madrid fault.
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Road Hog

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2021, 09:22:20 PM »

Memphis and the east bank of the river in general should weather a strong earthquake relatively well because that side of the river is built on solid rock as opposed to the west bank, which is alluvial soils all the way back to Little Rock. There will be damage, but hopefully not as severe as some think. Liquefaction on the Arkansas side of the river is a given, though.
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MikieTimT

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2021, 10:35:16 AM »

Memphis and the east bank of the river in general should weather a strong earthquake relatively well because that side of the river is built on solid rock as opposed to the west bank, which is alluvial soils all the way back to Little Rock. There will be damage, but hopefully not as severe as some think. Liquefaction on the Arkansas side of the river is a given, though.

That's why there are so many cases of sandblows in the sunken lands between the St. Francis and Mississippi Rivers in northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri.  I could only imagine what it was like during those tremors back in 1811-12 with the ground erupting sand and water and waterfalls appearing on the Mississippi River that went backwards for an hour.  The road system west of the Mississippi will be in shambles for a hundred miles north, south, and west of the epicenter in the event of a big one.
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edwaleni

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2021, 12:57:23 PM »

Memphis and the east bank of the river in general should weather a strong earthquake relatively well because that side of the river is built on solid rock as opposed to the west bank, which is alluvial soils all the way back to Little Rock. There will be damage, but hopefully not as severe as some think. Liquefaction on the Arkansas side of the river is a given, though.

That's why there are so many cases of sandblows in the sunken lands between the St. Francis and Mississippi Rivers in northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri.  I could only imagine what it was like during those tremors back in 1811-12 with the ground erupting sand and water and waterfalls appearing on the Mississippi River that went backwards for an hour.  The road system west of the Mississippi will be in shambles for a hundred miles north, south, and west of the epicenter in the event of a big one.

There are a lot of videos on YouTube by historians and USGS that outline the impacts of the NMFZ. One USGS staff member has located several of the 1811 sand blows and also done videos on them.

He even found a former bayou with buried sycamore stumps from a tremor before the 1811-1812 event. As he put it "in Braveheart days".

Unfortunately, most people don't know is that the largest ever federal land reclamation works project was done in this area from 1890 to 1930. It converted the Missouri bootheel and NE Arkansas from mostly swamps to fertile farmland.




If another large tremor were to hit the NMFZ, no doubt this series of dams, culverts, canals and water diversions would fail and there would be widespread flooding from south of Cape Girardeau all the way south to near Helena.
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SSR_317

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2021, 04:53:37 PM »

...  Also, Memphis is active all day while the other hubs are not.
Not true, the IND hub is active 24/7 as well.
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ozarkman417

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2021, 05:44:54 PM »

In the event of significant damage to KMEM, businesses that would otherwise with FedEx could ship with UPS for a while, as their hub is located in Louisville, which would most likely be OK. Though it wouldn't be a perfect arrangement: its ground deliveries would be significantly delayed and costly as a result of damaged or destroyed bridges and roads, as well as significantly increased cargo traffic placed on UPS. 
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mukade

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2021, 05:56:21 PM »

...  Also, Memphis is active all day while the other hubs are not.
Not true, the IND hub is active 24/7 as well.

I have not seen a FedEx flight into Indy in 48 hours, yet Memphis is very active. Which makes sense because Memphis is the primary hub. So IND is not 24X7.

Other than around holidays, IND takes flights 7 days a week for sure. On weekends, flights do not arrive around the clock.

I am sure IND could pick up a lot of the slack, but the scale is not the same.
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SSR_317

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2022, 04:17:24 PM »

...

When one plate moves, the ones around them have to adjust themselves.
True, but New Madrid is a MID-PLATE Fault System. Thus it MAY behave differently than other faults at plate boundaries.
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MikieTimT

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Re: The New Madrid Fault Zone
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2022, 04:21:28 PM »

...

When one plate moves, the ones around them have to adjust themselves.
True, but New Madrid is a MID-PLATE Fault System. Thus it MAY behave differently than other faults at plate boundaries.

Since this hasn't ruptured since the advent of plate tectonics as a science, most everything is an unknown about this particular fault, other than it's seemingly apocolyptic past in the area.  Makes planning a real booger, especially given the finances of the region.
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