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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Earth Sci. | doi: 10.3389/feart.2019.00273

LAKE COUNTY, TENNESSEE, IN THE HEART OF THE NEW MADRID SEISMIC ZONE

 Taylor A. Weathers1* and Roy B. Van Arsdale1
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Memphis, United States

Lake County, Tennessee, lies within the center of the New Madrid seismic zone and thus is particularly vulnerable to seismic hazards. To better evaluate the seismic threat to Lake County, the stratigraphy and structure were mapped beneath the county. A shallow 3-D lithologic model was constructed to illustrate the Quaternary Mississippi River alluvial facies of Lake County in five-foot (1.5 m) thick layers to a depth of 300 feet (91.4 m). This model provides near-surface geologic data for the determination of earthquake liquefaction potential and illustrates the Mississippi River alluvial aquifer for optimum agricultural water exploitation. In addition, faulted structure contour maps were made of the tops of the unconformable Paleozoic, Cretaceous, and Eocene sections. With these structure contour maps a deep 3-D geologic model was built for Lake County, which shows the stratigraphy and structure from the Quaternary to the Paleozoic. Cross sections were also created to illustrate the subsurface geology. The faulted structure contour maps and cross sections reveal Quaternary faulting on the Reelfoot North, Axial, Tiptonville dome backthrust, Lake County Uplift backthrust, Cottonwood Grove, Ridgely, and previously unidentified faults. The maps also illustrate where surface fault rupture may occur and the sense of vertical surface displacement in the event of a future large earthquake.

Keywords: GIS, Mapping, Earthquakes, Geology, Hazards, Structure, Faults, Tennessee

Received: 09 Jul 2019; Accepted: 04 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Weathers and Van Arsdale. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Taylor A. Weathers, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis, United States, tayweathers@gmail.com