Geologists are using technology to map deep below earth's surface

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
John Powell checks the direction of connecting cables as Moira Poje ties a second set of cables. The two were in Sikeston Tuesday as part of a study by Oregon State University to better understand the Earth's structure. (Photo by Jill Bock, staff)

SIKESTON -- A billion years ago, nature was ripping the North American continent apart. Then it stopped.

What remained is what geologists call the Mid-continent Rift System.

Today, scientists are using the latest in technology to look deep into the Earth. They are peering some 10 or more miles below the surface to gain a better understanding of the rift and the geology of the continent.

On Tuesday morning, John Powell, a geophysicist and crew chief with Zonge International; and Moira Poje, a geology student and field technician, were in Sikeston, to make their 30th stop in placing equipment as researchers seek data on the New Madrid Fault Line.

Digging through the sandy Southeast Missouri soil at Sikeston's northern edge

the pair placed four electrodes, a magnetic sensor, receiver box and connecting cables.

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