Earthquakes in the Heartland

Written by Holly on Monday August 31, 2009

MidwestEarthquakeLast week's swarm of earthquakes in Central Oklahoma sparked some discussion about the rare occurance of such events in the heartland. While it's true that most of North America's more dramatic earthquakes occur on the West Coast, the midwest has seen it's share of some pretty big ones. Especially the area of New Madrid, Missouri back in the early 1800s. Were these freak events or could we expect more out of New Madrid? Or even Central Oklahoma?

The season finale of of NOVA SCIENCENOW digs deeper into the study of earthquakes. Using new data from cave stalagmites and the Mississippi riverbed, scientists are converging on a startling new understanding of how and why they strike in the heartland.

NOVA SCIENCENOW will also look at the connection between sleep and memory. We'll dig for a fossil that could be Earth's first primate. And we'll also meet marine geologist Sang-Mook Lee who continues to teach and work in fascinating ways despite being paralyzed from the neck down.

Tune in Tuesday, September 1 at 8pm.