Abstract

Reelfoot Lake in northwestern Tennessee was the site of considerable ground motion at the time of the 1811–1812 New Madrid earthquakes. Thirty-two kilometres of conventional seismic-reflection profiling in the vicinity of the lake has revealed the existence of many faults. Most significant are two high-angle faults with 50 to 60 m of vertical offset at the contact of the Late Cretaceous embayment sediments and Paleozoic bedrock. One fault is associated with the scarp on the western edge of Reelfoot Lake and the other, with a major northeast-trending lineament that passes through the town of Ridgely, Tennessee, and near the southeast edge of Reelfoot Lake. The nature of the observed vertical offsets suggests recurrent motion on faults of Late Cretaceous, or older, age.

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