I suppose I should just accept this as the good news it is, but the paranoid part of me refuses to. The New Madrid Fault in Missouri has been very quiet so far in 2024. When I say quiet, I mean eerily so.

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As I've mentioned before, I'm something of an earthquake watchman. I check the USGS shake map regularly to keep track of what's going on. When it comes to the New Madrid Fault in Missouri, it's actually what's not going on that concerns me.

For the first time this year that I can remember, I saw a tiny New Madrid quake that only registered a 1.4 on the Richter Scale. I got curious and ran a report on all the New Madrid quakes in 2024 and found only 2. How odd.


To give you an idea, there are normally a half dozen quakes along the New Madrid Fault every week give or take one or two. There have been more than 8,500 since the year 2000. Bottom line is it's a very active although mostly not severe earthquake region. The USGS estimates there are around 400 per year.

Why suddenly so quiet?

The most likely answer is purely coincidence. Slow start to the year along the New Madrid Fault is probably good news for Missouri, but there is a scenario that isn't. These tiny quakes we normally see release energy which is good. When we don't see tiny quakes, that could mean that the New Madrid Fault is building up energy for a bigger event. The USGS has some interesting studies of energy and earthquake fault lines.

For now, I'm going to try and calm down the paranoid part of me that has always feared a major New Madrid Fault event. It's probably nothing out of the ordinary and regular tiny quakes will resume soon...or at least that's my hope for all of us.

Check Out Colorado's 15 Most Significant Earthquakes (1900-2023)

Can Colorado have earthquakes? You bet! The state of Colorado did not begin keeping records of seismic activity until around 1900. From the largest earthquake to hit the state to a few of the more recent, scroll on to check out the most significant earthquakes to affect the state of Colorado.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

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