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On Shaky Ground



The Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) was abuzz last week after a crush of media outlets descended on the Central Avenue office for the latest on the Thursday-morning earthquake.

"I had been warned before taking a job here that when [a quake] occurred the media attention would be pretty intense, but what we had last week was more than I could have ever imagined," said one CERI seismologist.

Pretty cool, huh? Not really. "I'm used to conducting my research each day in relative anonymity, and I like that," he said.

The quake, which registered 4.1 on the Richter scale, occurred seven miles from Caraway, Arkansas. The town is about 48 miles from Memphis, but some residents here felt the rumbling. Seismographs of CERI's measurement station in Twist, Arkansas, documented the New Madrid seismic zone quake activity (shown here). To allay fears, scientists quickly denounced any suggestion that this quake was a precursor to "the big one."

And until then, CERI scientists would like to remain anonymous.

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