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Implications of the Meers Fault on seismic potential in the central United States

Alan R. Ramelli and D. Burton Slemmons
Implications of the Meers Fault on seismic potential in the central United States (in Neotectonics in earthquake evaluation, Ellis L. Krinitzsky (editor) and D. Burton Slemmons (editor))
Reviews in Engineering Geology (1990) 8: 59-75


The Meers fault in southwestern Oklahoma, with a prominent scarp resulting from late Holocene surface displacement, is the best-expressed late Quaternary surface fault known to occur in a "stable" continental interior (or mid-plate) region (i.e., regions far removed from areas of high tectonic rates). The Meers fault is part of a major fault system that has not been the locus of major tectonic activity since the Paleozoic, and although recent surface displacements have been sizable, average late Quaternary rates have been low, based on a lack of geomorphic expression indicating significant cumulative displacement. Activity of the Meers fault is unusual, because in mid-plate regions, few large historical earthquakes have occurred and recognized cases of late Quaternary surface faulting are very rare. Based on the extent of surface rupturing and amounts of displacement, the Meers fault appears capable of producing very large events (i.e., M > 7, or possibly even M > 7??[½]??). Recent events on the Meers fault produced surface displacements of a few to several meters. Such displacements are quite large, relative to the rupture length of about 40 km, and could result from a tendency for mid-plate or long-recurrence faults to rupture with higher stress drops than plate-margin or short-recurrence faults. Studies attempting to evaluate this possibility have produced conflicting results and may indicate this cannot be placed in as simple a context as plate-margin versus intraplate settingss. A large earthquake on the Meers fault would produce strong ground motion throughout much of the south-central United States and could cause widespread damage. The existence of a potential source of large earthquakes in a region thought to be tectonically stable suggests that the seismic potential of this and other mid-plate regions may be underestimated.

ISSN: 0080-2018
EISSN: 2169-799X
Coden: GAEGA4
Serial Title: Reviews in Engineering Geology
Serial Volume: 8
Title: Implications of the Meers Fault on seismic potential in the central United States
Title: Neotectonics in earthquake evaluation
Author(s): Ramelli, Alan R.Slemmons, D. Burton
Author(s): Krinitzsky, Ellis L.editor
Author(s): Slemmons, D. Burtoneditor
Affiliation: Univ. Nev.-Reno, Nev. Bur. Mines and Geol., Reno, NV, United States
Affiliation: U. S. Army Corps Eng., Waterw. Exp. Stn., Geotech. Lab., Vicksburg, MS, United States
Pages: 59-75
Published: 1990
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 0-8137-4108-4
References: 58
Accession Number: 1992-014921
Categories: Engineering geologyStructural geology
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
N34°40'00" - N35°00'00", W98°55'00" - W98°15'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Univ. Nev.-Reno, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 1992
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