Reelfoot Lake

Reelfoot Lake (HM25UQ)

Location: Memphis, TN 38103 Shelby County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 8.968', W 90° 3.504'

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Panel #59 Mississippi Riverwalk

—Mile 873.0 AHP —

A tremendous earthquake struck this region on December 16, 1811, beginning a three-month series of violent quakes that devastated over 40,000 square miles. Named for the largest settlement in the region, the New Madrid earthquakes altered local geography, changed the Mississippi's course and created Reelfoot Lake.

During the most violent shocks, the Mississippi shrunk from its
banks into a 20-foot ridge of water, then rushed outward to flood the countryside. Great stretches of river banks caved in, and mile-long cracks in the earth spewed out sand, rock and sulfurous fumes. In some places, the ground rose 20 feet. Four miles east of the river, near modern-day Tiptonville, the forest sank. Exploding over its banks, the Mississippi flooded into this new basin with such force that witnesses claimed the river downstream flowed backward. When the water retreated, it left Reelfoot Lake—20 miles long, a few feet deep, crowded with cypress and cottonwood trees. Most eventually died or were set on fire by lighting, leaving trunks and stumps dotting the shallows.

Photo Credit: Bald Eagles at Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge by David Haggard/USFWS
HM NumberHM25UQ
Placed ByMississippi Riverwalk
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, March 8th, 2018 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 767976 N 3893580
Decimal Degrees35.14946667, -90.05840000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 8.968', W 90° 3.504'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 8' 58.08" N, 90° 3' 30.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)901
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 25 Riverside Dr, Memphis TN 38103, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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