Abstract

A remote sensing examination of the New Madrid seismic zone has revealed a feature, the Bootheel lineament, that may be the surface expression of one of the coseismic faults of the great New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812. The lineament extends about 135 km in a north-northeast direction through northeastern Arkansas and southeastern Missouri. The morphology and pattern of the lineament suggest that it reflects a fault with strike-slip displacement. Field data indicate that liquefied sand was injected along the lineament, probably in 1811 and 1812. The Bootheel lineament does not coincide with any of the major arms of New Madrid seismicity, possibly indicating that the current seismicity does not precisely reflect the faults that ruptured in 1811 and 1812.

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