Friday, April 06, 2001

Indiana town is modern quake center

The Associated Press

        NEW HARMONY, Ind. — A plan to install earthquake detectors in a 183-year-old refurbished granary near the New Madrid and Wabash Valley faults could make this town an important hub of geologic science. But it wouldn't be the first time that's happened.

        In the mid-1800s, New Harmony was a center of geology in the United States. From the far southwestern Indiana town, geologist David Dale Owen led the first major survey of Indiana.

        Owen used a one-time grain storage facility built by New Harmony's original Utopian settlers in 1818 as his laboratory. The same building will now house the new earthquake detectors.

        New Harmony lies just northeast of the New Madrid fault, which runs through Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and southern Illinois. Scientists expect it to produce a large quake in the next century, perhaps one of magnitude 6.0.


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