A high-resolution aeromagnetic survey, flown over the northern part of the New Madrid seismic zone in the Mississippi embayment, reveals linear features that generally parallel active seismic zones. This parallelism suggests that the linear magnetic features are related to faults. Modeling of these anomalies indicates that the associated magnetic sources are shallow, steeply dipping (>80°) prism-like bodies. Their tops at depths of about 1 km are considerably shallower than the depth of crystalline basement (roughly 3 km). The bodies are typically 2 km wide. A plausible explanation for these bodies is that the magnetization within the sequence of generally nonmagnetic sedimentary rocks has been enhanced within and adjacent to fault zones. Such a magnetic enhancement could arise in several ways, including the emplacement of igneous intrusions, the authigenic growth of pyrrhotite, or the conversion of pyrite to magnetite. Whatever the cause of the magnetization contrast, the apparent relation between linear magnetic features and faults may lead to permissible stress models that accommodate the fault pattern inferred from the magnetic field.

First Page Preview

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