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Nature’s Fury: The Science of Natural Disasters

Nemaha Ridge and Humboldt Fault

Nemaha Ridge and Humboldt Fault

West of Kansas City is the Humboldt Fault and Nemaha Ridge, a buried granite mountain range that extends from Omaha to Oklahoma City. Though less active than New Madrid, there is still a potential for damaging earthquakes. On April 24, 1867, an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 5.5 struck near Manhattan, Kansas. A similarly-sized earthquake today would damage buildings in surrounding towns, as well as reservoir dams and power plants.

Map of the Nemaha Ridge and Humboldt Fault

Image source: Steeples, Don, et al. “Seismicity, Faulting, and Geophysical Anomalies in Nemaha County, Kansas.” Geology, vol. 7, no. 3, 1979, p. 135. View Source