Seismic-reflection data were integrated with other geophysical, geologic, and seismicity data to better determine the location and nature of buried faults in the Charleston, South Carolina, region. Our results indicate that the 1886 Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake and seismicity near Summerville are related to local stresses caused by a 12?? bend in the East Coast fault system (ECFS) and two triple-fault junctions. One triple junction is formed by the intersection of the northwest-trending Ashley River fault with the two segments of the ECFS north and south of the bend. The other triple junction is formed by the intersection of the northeast-trending Summerville fault and a newly discovered northwest-trending Berkeley fault with the ECFS about 10 km north of the bend. The Summerville fault is a northwest-dipping border fault of the Triassic-age Jedburg basin that is undergoing reverse-style reactivation. This reverse-style reactivation is unusual because the Summerville fault parallels the regional stress field axis, suggesting that the reactivation is from stresses applied by dextral motion on the ECFS. The southwest-dip and reverse-type motion of the Berkeley fault are interpreted from seismicity data and a seismic-reflection profile in the western part of the study area. Our results also indicate that the East Coast fault system is a Paleozoic basement fault and that its reactivation since early Mesozoic time has fractured through the overlying allochthonous terranes.
Additional Publication Details
Association of the 1886 Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake and seismicity near Summervile with a 12?? bend in the East Coast fault system and triple-fault junctions