Abstract

The New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 produced regional deformation in northwestern Tennessee, southeastern Missouri, and northeastern Arkansas. Landforms such as the Lake County uplift, Reelfoot Lake, and the Sunklands of northeast Arkansas either formed or were reactivated during these great earthquakes. Two hundred and fifty three cores were used to construct a structure-contour map of the unconformity between the Eocene strata and the overlying Quaternary Mississippi River alluvium in the New Madrid seismic zone. This map reveals relief that mirrors the surface deformation and provides additional data on the distribution of regional deformation. We interpret the structure-contour map as a representation of the Late Wisconsin to the present strain field of the New Madrid seismic zone. This map provides constraints for future kinematic analyses of late Quaternary New Madrid faulting and allows forecasting of future coseismic deformation.

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