Abstract

The Kansas Geological Survey has operated a microearthquake seismograph network since mid-1977. The network now consists of fifteen stations located in the eastern half of Kansas and Nebraska. Locatable microearthquakes with duration magnitudes less than 3.2 occur at the rate of roughly 20 per year in the two-state area, with most of the events ranging from 1.4 to 2.5 in local magnitude. The microearthquake pattern observed over the past ten years is consistent with the pattern of historical earthquakes reported since 1867. Much of the activity occurs along the Nemaha Ridge, a buried Precambrian uplift that runs from roughly Omaha, Nebraska, southward across Kansas to near Oklahoma City. This geological structure has been the site of several earthquakes of MM Intensity VII over the past 125 years. Some seismicity is observed along the northwest flank of the Midcontinent Geophysical Anomaly in Kansas, but little is observed in the Nebraska or Iowa portions of this Precambrian feature. The Central Kansas Uplift, which is a buried anticline similar in age to the Nemaha Ridge, has been the site of several felt earthquakes since 1982. A trend of earthquakes extending northeastward across central Nebraska is not associated with any prominent known geologic structure. All the seismicity in central and eastern Kansas can be roughly correlated to known geologic structures.

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