Seismicity in South Carolina

Seismological Research Letters


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The largest historical earthquake in South Carolina, and in the southeastern US, occurred in the Coastal Plain province, probably northwest of Charleston, in 1886. Locations for aftershocks associated with this earthquake, estimated using intensities based on newspaper accounts, defined a northwest trending zone about 250 km long that was at least 100 km wide in the Coastal Plain but widened to a northeast trending zone in the Piedmont. The subsequent historical and instrumentally recorded seismicity in South Carolina images the 1886 aftershock zone. Instrumentally recorded seismicity in the Coastal Plain province occurs in 3 seismic zones or clusters: Middleton Place-Summervile (MPSSZ), Adams Run (ARC), and Bowman (BSZ). Approximately 68% of the Coastal Plain earthquakes occur in the MPSSZ, a north trending zone about 22 km long and 12 km wide, lying about 20 km northwest of Charleston. The hypocenters of MPSSZ earthquakes range in depth from near the surface to almost 12 km. Thrust, strike-slip, and some normal faulting are indicated by the fault plane solutions for Coastal Plain earthquakes. The maximum horizontal compressive stress, inferred from the P-axes of the fault plane solutions, is oriented NE-SW in the shallow crust (<9 km deep) but appears to be diffusely E-W between 9 to 12 km deep. -from Author
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Seismicity in South Carolina
Series title Seismological Research Letters
Volume 59
Issue 4
Year Published 1988
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Seismological Research Letters
First page 165
Last page 171
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