Dr. Nathan K. Moran
Research Associate
Ph.D. University of Memphis, History
M. A. University of Memphis, History
B. A. University of Tennessee at Martin, History

Research Overview

Where most of CERI's focus is on modern data to understand the New Madrid Seismic Zone his is on data from the past.Since 1999 he has been combing the historic record of the United States for information on the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812.  Accounts can be found in archives, contemporary newspapers and other documents that were generated by eyewitnesses to the event.  Dr. Moran is also gathering information on other earthquakes that occurred in the Central United States prior to the invention of modern seismographic instruments. In addition he is archiving historic data with a web site The New Madrid Compendium that consists of his catalog of felt reports (eywitness accounts) of the earthquakes that is being compliled from newspapers of the 1811-1812 time period.

Current and Recent Research Projects

  • New Madrid Compendium:  Editing and adding to the Far Field felt reports and adding biographical updates to the New Madrid eyewitnesses.  Research on land grants in West Tennessee and possible disruptions to transportation due to the earthquakes .
  • Research on land grants in Tennessee to access pre earthquake land information
  • Collecting early maps of the New Madrid area to assess geographic changes caused by the earthquakes
  • Gathering biographical background on New Madrid eyewitnesses in an attempt to uncover  more information on their accounts.
  • Collecting primary source information on historic seismic information in the Central United States

Current and Recent Grad and Student Workers

  • Carl Brown-  Carl worked as a student worker on the Compendium 2000-2004.  He is currently pursuing his PhD in history at the University of Memphis.
  • Kim Tucker- Kim worked as clerical help on the Compendium from 2004-2007.  She Graduated with honors in 2007.

Selected Publications

  •  Bad News Travels Fast, John Clark Edwards Account of the New Madrid Earthquakes(Paper presented for Ohio Valley History Conference Fall 2008.)
  •  Surveys, Speculation and Seismicity, North Carolina Land Speculation and the Surveying of the Reelfoot and Obion Rivers.(Paper presented for Tennessee Conference of Historians Fall 2007.)
  • New Madrid Earthquakes, Myths and Social Impacts( PowerPoint Presentation for National Earthquake Conference Spring 2008.)

Web Links:
New Madrid Compendium at http://www.ceri.memphis.edu/compendium/ for more information on the New Madrid earthquakes