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Short-term uplift rates and surface deformation along the Reelfoot Fault, New Madrid seismic zone

S. D. Carlson and M. J. Guccione
Short-term uplift rates and surface deformation along the Reelfoot Fault, New Madrid seismic zone
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (August 2010) 100 (4): 1659-1677

Abstract

This study of variability in the amount and rate of deformation along the intraplate Reelfoot fault of the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) utilizes diverse research methods, including geophysics, geomorphology, and fluvial sedimentology. The transpressional Reelfoot fault deforms late Holocene Mississippi River sediment into the Tiptonville dome and adjacent Reelfoot basin. Because Reelfoot Lake submerges a portion of the basin, subbottom acoustic profiling of the lake was used to quantify the relief on the uplift. At the natural levee of the abandoned Tiptonville meander, the most appropriate landform along the scarp for measuring cumulative structural relief, a maximum relative vertical uplift of approximately 11.3 m was measured. To identify spatial and temporal variability in surface deformation using geologic methods, we relate fluvial sedimentation to three documented earthquake events during the past 2300 yr (Tuttle et al., 2002, 2005), which is the approximate age of the oldest deformed floodplain sediment (Guccione et al., 2002). Radiocarbon dates from organic material in fluvial and lacustrine sediment indicate that most of the uplift occurred during the last two major seismic events. A minimum of 1.6-3.9 m of uplift was associated with the seismic episode at A.D. 1450+ or -150 and a maximum of 5.9-8.2 m of uplift was associated with the 1812 episode. We estimate a mean short-term uplift rate of 1.2 cm/yr (0.4-2.1 cm/yr with 80% probability) or a mean short-term slip rate of 1.3 cm/yr (0.5-2.3 cm/yr with 80% probability). These values are approximately 2.5 times higher than the long-term rates based on the total amount of uplift averaged over the past 2300 yr (Mueller et al., 1999; Van Arsdale, 2000). Estimating deformation rates associated with individual earthquake recurrences provides information on fluctuating activity of the NMSZ.


ISSN: 0037-1106
EISSN: 1943-3573
Serial Title: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Serial Volume: 100
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Short-term uplift rates and surface deformation along the Reelfoot Fault, New Madrid seismic zone
Affiliation: Marathon Oil Company, Houston, TX, United States
Pages: 1659-1677
Published: 201008
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, Berkeley, CA, United States
References: 36
Accession Number: 2010-084878
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
N36°00'00" - N37°00'00", W90°00'00" - W89°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Arkansas, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201045
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