Recently acquired COCORP and proprietary seismic reflection data in the southern part of the Illinois Basin, combined with other geological and geophysical data, indicate that a WNW-trending Proterozoic terrane boundary (40 km wide) lies within basement. The boundary is characterized by the termination of subhorizontal Proterozoic reflectors and associated diffraction patterns along a line coinciding with the major magnetic lineament in this region (South Central Magnetic Lineament). North of the boundary, where reflectors thought to represent a sequence of layered Proterozoic rocks in the upper crust are widespread and as much as 11 km thick, total magnetic intensity values are relatively high, suggesting layers of rock with high magnetic susceptibility. To the south, the Proterozoic rocks are acoustically transparent on seismic reflection sections and total magnetic intensity values are relatively low. Moreover, relatively high Bouguer gravity anomaly values to the south may be caused by a dense, altered, lower crustal layer similar to that interpreted from deep seismic refraction studies to underlie the northern Mississippi Embayment. The boundary lies along the projected trend of the northern margin of the Early Proterozoic Central Plains orogen and we suggest that it marks the convergent margin of this orogen. Reactivation of the boundary and the associated zone of weakness during late Paleozoic times apparently resulted in structural deformation in the southern part of the Illinois Basin, including movement along the Cottage Grove Fault System and Ste. Genevieve Fault Zone and igneous activity at Hicks Dome. In addition to the role played by this crustal boundary in the evolution of the Illinois Basin, its location between the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone to the northeast and the New Madrid Seismic Zone to the southwest may be a significant factor in present-day seismicity. ?? 1993.