New Madrid MO Is A Real Hotspot

Really. In 1812 the largest earthquake ever recorded in the continental U.S., an 8.0 magnitude temblor, took place in New Madrid, Missouri. It was caused by an ancient hotspot in the earth's crust. Another big quake occurred in 1886 at Charleston SC for the same reason.

As the North American tectonic plate shifted through the eons, both cities passed over the Bermuda Hotspot—a thin spot in the earth's crust that allowed magma to squirt to the surface. The process even diverted the Mississippi River.

The Hawaiian Islands were created as the tectonic Pacific Plate passed over a hot spot. New islands are being created today by the same process.

Meanwhile, in Canada the St. Larence Rift and in New England the off-shore sea mounds (famous as early 1900s fishing grounds), were formed by a hot spot created by the Great Meteor—the same one that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Passage of a tectonic plate over a hot spot can reactivate ancient faults, causing slippage to occur even millions of years later, because the crust takes a long time to settle down after being heated and uplifted.



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