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Coseismic sackungen in the New Madrid seismic zone, USA

December 28, 2018

High‐resolution lidar reveals newly recognized evidence of strong shaking in the New Madrid seismic zone in the central United States. We mapped concentrations of sackungen (ridgetop spreading features) on bluffs along the eastern Mississippi River valley in northwestern Tennessee that likely form or are reactivated during large earthquakes. These sackungen are concentrated on the hanging wall of the Reelfoot reverse fault and show a preferential orientation indicating ground failure normal to fault strike. These observations suggest that the sackungen record one or more earthquakes on the southern Reelfoot fault since the deposition of the ~30‐ to 11‐ka Peoria Loess and potentially constrain the minimum intensity of near‐fault ground motion. This study demonstrates that sackungen can be used to infer fault source and mechanism and, in combination with field‐based techniques, improve paleoseismic records and seismic hazard models.

Publication Year 2018
Title Coseismic sackungen in the New Madrid seismic zone, USA
DOI 10.1029/2018GL080493
Authors Jaime E. Delano, Ryan D. Gold, Richard W. Briggs, Randall W. Jibson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geophysical Research Letters
Index ID 70202001
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center