Abstract

In spite of extensive research, the causal structure of the 1886 magnitude 7 earthquake near Charleston, South Carolina, has not been identified. In this study I analyzed digital surface topography and river morphology in light of earlier studies using seismic reflection, seismic refraction, earthquake seismology, and gravity and magnetic surveys. This analysis revealed an area approximately 400 km2 northwest of Charleston that may have been repeatedly uplifted by earthquakes. Geologic and seismic reflection data confirm alteration of formations at depth. Deformation of the surface is supported by observations on aerial and LANDSAT photographs. Therefore, the structure on which the 1886 earthquake occurred may be within the uplifted area defined in this report.

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