Swarm of 7 Minor New Madrid, Missouri Quakes Already in 2023
The New Madrid earthquake fault has wasted no time in registering measurable quakes in 2023. The new year has started with 7 relatively minor quakes and it's still ongoing.
Early in the morning of Saturday, January 7 at around 4:49 am, there was a 2.5 earthquake along the New Madrid Fault according to the USGS. No one felt it so it's not really a big deal. However, that was at least the 7th quake so far in 2023 as we're only 7 days in.
Earlier in the week, there was another swarm of 4 that happened the same day. All were in the 2.0 to 2.5 range, so again still no reason for alarm.
Another site that is a good reference for activity along the New Madrid Fault is Earthquake Track. According to their most recent map at the time of this writing, there are 7 quakes stronger than 2.0 in 2023 in that region of Missouri/Arkansas.
Let's emphasize again that any earthquake that is less than a 4.0 in magnitude is barely noticeable. However, when you see swarms of quakes this close together, it begins to get interesting.
Instead of dipping into the wilder conspiracy theory waters, let's stick with what the USGS says about what could be "foreshocks". Here's the USGS definition (I've bolded the important part):
Foreshocks are earthquakes that precede larger earthquakes in the same location. An earthquake cannot be identified as a foreshock until after a larger earthquake in the same area occurs.
No reason to sound the alarm bells as this swarm may come and go with nothing larger to follow. It is prudent to pay attention to this kind of New Madrid fault zone activity just in case it is the sign of something bigger that could someday interfere with all of our lives.