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Natural and Unnatural Earthquake Hazard in the Heartland: Facts and Fictions

November 9, 2017, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This program is made possible through funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The lecture

It has long been recognized that the North American mid-continent experiences infrequent but potentially large earthquakes. Because seismic waves travel especially efficiently in the region, large earthquakes moreover have an especially long reach compared to earthquakes of comparable magnitude in the west. The 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquake sequence, centered in the boot heel region of Missouri, has posed an especially enduring enigma, generating considerable lore and legend over the years. Since 2009 a new concern has emerged: the risk from so-called induced earthquakes associated with oil production and wastewater injection. In some regions, the numbers of induced earthquakes has far surpassed the number of natural earthquakes. High numbers of felt earthquakes in previously quiet areas has led naturally to concern about the possibility of a larger induced event than those yet seen. In this talk, Susan Hough will present an overview of our current understanding of hazards associated with both natural and unnatural earthquakes in the heartland.

The speaker

Susan Hough is a seismologist at the United States Geological Survey in Pasadena, California, and scientist-in-charge of the office. She has served as an editor and contributor for many journals and is a contributing editor to Geotimes Magazine. Dr. Hough has written numerous articles for mainstream publications such as the Los Angeles Times and she is the author of five books, including Earthshaking Science: What We Know (and Don’t Know) About Earthquakes. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and is a University of California, San Diego alumna, earning her Ph.D. in geophysics from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Admission tickets

Walk-in registrations will be available on a first come, first served basis at the door.

You can also watch the lecture live from your personal computer or mobile device via Facebook or livestream.com.


Parking is free in Library parking lots and along the west side of Holmes Street between 51st and 52nd streets. The main entrance to the Library grounds is on Cherry Street. The Linda Hall Library is not affiliated with UMKC. Parking in all UMKC lots is by permit or meter. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.


November 9, 2017
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Eric Ward


Linda Hall Library
5109 Cherry
Kansas City, 64110 United States
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Questions? Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information about these events.