Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 7, 2011

UI Explorers Lecture focuses on Midwestern earthquakes

A rare earthquake on Aug. 23 reminded East Coast residents that they are not immune those events. On Thursday, Sept. 15, Ray Anderson of the Iowa Geological and Water Survey will remind Iowans that they are not immune either.

Anderson, Ph.D., will present the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History Explorers Lecture at 7 p.m. in the museum's third floor Biosphere Discovery Hub, focusing on the winter of 1811 and 1812, when the Midwestern United States was subject to one of the greatest sequence of earthquakes in world history. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception with refreshments.

Those earthquakes, centered near the southeast Missouri town of New Madrid, produced three earthquakes of 7.5 magnitude or more on the Richter scale, three aftershocks of 6.0 to 7.0 magnitude, and more than 200 moderate earthquakes. The quakes caused damage over a 250,000 square mile area and were felt over an area of two million square miles.

Anderson has three degrees in geology from the UI and also serves as a UI adjunct associate professor of geoscience. He has worked for the Iowa Geological and Water Survey for more than 40 years and has studied most of aspects of the state's geology, including its seismic activity.

The UI Explorers Lecture series will continue on Oct. 13, with a talk by Connie Mutel of the UI IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, on Nov. 17 with a talk by Margaret Beck of the UI Department of Anthropology, and on Dec. 15 with a lecture by Art Bettis of the UI Department of Geoscience.

The UI Museum of Natural History is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. It is closed Mondays and national holidays. For more information, visit the website:, call 319-335-0606 or email

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: John Logsdon, 319-335-1082,; Steve Parrott, University News Services, 319-384-0037, Writer: Ryan Lindsay