Recently obtained high-resolution seismic profiles (400-4,000-Hz band) show evidence of faults in shallow sedimentary strata near the edge of the Atlantic continental shelf off New Jersey. Apparent normal faults having a throw of about 1.5 m displace sediments to within 7 m of the sea floor. The faults appear to be overlain by undeformed horizontal beds of relatively recent age. Several faults 1 to 2 km apart strike approximately N70°E and dip northwest. The data suggest that the faults are upthrown on the southeast.

Projection of the faults on the high-resolution profiles to a nearby multichannel seismic-reflection profile indicates that these shallow faults might be the near-surface expression of a more fundamental deep-seated fault. Several prominent reflectors in the multichannel records are offset by a high-angle normal fault reaching depths of 4.0 to 5.0 sec (6.0 to 6.5 km). The deep fault on the multichannel line also is upthrown on the southeast. Throws of as much as 90 m are apparent at depth, but offsets of as much as 10 m could be present in the shallower parts of the section that may not be resolved in the multichannel data.

The position and strike of these faults coincide with and parallel the East Coast magnetic anomaly interpreted as the fundamental seaward basement boundary of the Baltimore Canyon trough. Recurring movements along such boundary faults are expected theoretically if the marginal basins are subsiding in response to the plate rotation of North America and seafloorspreading in the Atlantic.

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