MARIANNA, AR (abc24.com) - Researchers have found new evidence of earthquakes in the Mid-South. They say the quakes could be the result of a new fault line, a little sister, or big sister, of the New Madrid.
"It's opened up to ancient history down here," geophysicist Rob Williams tells abc24.com as he looks down into a pit made to study evidence of earthquakes in Marianna, Arkansas.
"We're looking back 4,000 to 10,000 years down in this pit," he says.
The pit may seem like a simple hole in the ground, but to Williams it's much more.
"What this shows," he says, "is that we've had at least two large earthquakes in the last 10,000 years about as big as the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812."
Williams tells abc24.com those earthquakes were huge.
"Magnitude seven plus," he says, "but probably less than an 8."
Williams says it isn't a fault line in Marianna, but rather the effects of strong ground shaking. He say's when the ground shakes cracks will open up and sand that's under pressure from all the shaking water wants to escape and that sand and water will flow onto the ground surface.
Scientists are in the area to study earthquakes in the region.