Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Earth and Environmental Sciences (Geology)

First Advisor

Dr. Edward W. Woolery

Abstract

A recently identified 30 km by 7.2 km subsurface stratigraphic uplift, called the Charleston uplift, exhibits 36 m offset of Paleogene-Quaternary unconformity based on shallow borehole data. Two seismic soundings demonstrated relief in Paleozoic and Cretaceous reflectors across the northern boundary of the uplift, suggesting a structural origin rather than an erosional origin. This study collected and analyzed 18 additional shallow seismic soundings to confirm Paleozoic and Cretaceous offset across the boundaries of the uplift, to better constrain the surface trace of the uplift, and to examine potential extension into western Kentucky. One ground penetrating radar profile was taken in western Kentucky to image recent deformation. Results confirm Paleozoic and Cretaceous offset along the boundaries of the uplift and indicate extension of the uplift into western Kentucky, although recent deformation was unconfirmed by the radar profile. These data support a structural origin. The N46°E trend of the uplift as well as its coincidence with contemporary microseismicity suggest that this feature may be related to the New Madrid seismic zone, specifically the New Madrid North fault, which may have implications for hazard assessment, as well as possible a reevaluation of the epicenters for the 23 January 1812 Mw ≥ 7.0 event.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.292

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