Abstract

The Commerce geophysical lineament is a northeast-trending magnetic and gravity feature that extends from central Arkansas to southern Illinois over a distance of ≈400 km. It is parallel to the trend of the Reelfoot graben, but offset ≈40 km to the northwest of the western margin of the rift floor. Modeling indicates that the source of the aeromagnetic and gravity anomalies is probably a mafic dike swarm. The age of the source of the Commerce geophysical lineament is not known, but the linearity and trend of the anomalies suggest a relationship with the Reelfoot rift, which has undergone episodic igneous activity. The Commerce geophysical lineament coincides with several topographic lineaments, movement on associated faults at least as young as Quaternary, and intrusions of various ages. Several earthquakes (Mb > 3) coincide with the Commerce geophysical lineament, but the diversity of associated focal mechanisms and the variety of surface structural features along the length of the Commerce geophysical lineament obscure its relation to the release of present-day strain. With the available seismicity data, it is difficult to attribute individual earthquakes to a specific structural lineament such as the Commerce geophysical lineament. However, the close correspondence between Quaternary faulting and present-day seismicity along the Commerce geophysical lineament is intriguing and warrants further study.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.