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No. 91: Jan-Feb 1994

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Do earthquakes raise mima mounds?

This possibility was tendered in SF#69 in our notice of a paper in Geology by A.W. Berg. Berg had covered a large sheet of plywood with sandy soil and then vibrated the wooden sheet. The result: small mounds formed at points where intersecting vibrations cancelled each other out. Could the many fields of Mima mounds in North America, Africa, and other continents have been created in a like manner by earthquakes?

The recent severe quake in India proved that the answer to the above question might be "yes." Some farm-lands that had been flat were riven by cracks several inches wide and up to 70 feet deep and, in addition, topped by undulating mounds up to a foot high.

(Anonymous; "Farmers Work Land Churned by Earthquake," Spokane Review, October 10,1993. Cr. J. Satkoski)

Comment. Mima mounds are often higher than 1 foot, but at it certainly seems that Berg's experiment has been repeated by Nature herself.

Mima mounds and like structures are cataloged in ETM1 in Carolina Bays, Mima Mounds. This catalog is described here.

From Science Frontiers #91, JAN-FEB 1994. 1994-2000 William R. Corliss