How Was Reelfoot Lake In Tennessee Created By the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811?

Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee was created by fairly recent earthquakes.

The huge New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, the strongest ever in the United States, caused a section of land near the Mississippi River in the northwestern corner of Tennessee to fall in.

The waters of the Mississippi quickly rushed in to fill the hole.

The lake is shallow, ranging between 2 and 9 feet (0.6 and 2.7 m) deep, but it is about 20 miles (32 km) long and 5 miles (8 km) wide.

It is home to a large number of American bald eagles.

Reelfoot Lake is said to be named for a legendary Indian chief who had a deformed foot and was called “Reelfoot” by the whites.