Surveyor report: ‘Grond shook, springs roiled’

Were you shaken from your bed in the early hours of this past Friday morning? Not me I slept right through it, although the 20-second shaking roused my husband, son and the family dog.

Not feeling up to par, I took a nap in the morning, and missed the second tremor, too!

The St. Louis television stations reported on the event, and I noticed that the stylus on the Richter machine recorded 5.2 right off the bat there were no small tremors in the seconds leading up to the quake.

Both eminated earthquakes were centered in the Wabash Valley seismic zone, although the second aftershock, which measured 4.6 on the Richter scale, occurred at a different place than the first. This is what had the geologists worried soon after the second quake hit.

The April 18 earthquake was felt as far away as 450 miles.

I wasnt aware that Fayette County is slashed by an ‘anticline’ fault. This fault begins just over the line in Effingham County and runs under Loudon, Avena, Wheatland and Lone Grove townships before entering Marion County, cutting that county in two.

Information from the Wikipedia Web site explained that an anticline fault ‘in structural geology is a fold that is convex up and has its oldest beds [of rock] at its core.’

This is also where oil and natural gas deposits are found.

The New Madrid earthquake of Dec. 16, 1811, was the largest ever in recorded American history. Although there was no Richter scale back then, it was estimated that the first quake would have been 8.0 or higher and the second 8.7.

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia rang, sidewalks in Washington, D.C., cracked, the Mississippi River changed its course and even flowed backward for a brief time. Fissures 600 to 700 feet wide and 20 feet deep appeared, running for several miles.

Several lakes, including Reelfoot Lake in northwestern Tennessee, which is 18 miles long was formed by the 1811 earthquake. Some thought the world was ending.

Isaac Hill, a surveyor, was in Illinois at that time. Upon the authority of Thomas Jefferson, Hill was to trace a Third Meridian Line from Cahokia to the Ocar (Kaskaskia), Sangewa (Sangamon) and Illinois rivers.

He was also to look for salt, iron, plumbago, gold, silver, cannel (coal), saltpetre, brimstone, furs, water, navigationfall of rain, days no frost.

Hill was in our area when he wrote in his ledger, ‘2 moon Nov. grond shook, springs roiled.’

Henry Schoolcraft wrote a poem about the 1811 quake, in which he said nearly the same thing, ‘The rivers they boiled like a pot over coals, and mortals fell prostrate, and prayed for their souls.’

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