High-resolution seismic-reflection data acquired at three sites along the surface projection of the Commerce geophysical lineament in southeast Missouri reveal a complex history of post-Cretaceous faulting that has continued into the Quaternary. Near Qulin, Missouri, approximately 20 m of apparent vertical fault displacement has occurred in the Quaternary. Reflection data collected at Idalia Hill, about 45 km to the northeast, reveal a series of reverse and possibly right-lateral strike-slip faults with Quaternary displacement. In the Benton Hills, 45 km northeast of Idalia Hill, seismic data image a complicated series of anticlinal and synclinal fault-bounded blocks immediately north of the Commerce fault. We infer that most of the deformation imaged in the upper 400 m of these three data sets occurred since post-Cretaceous time, and a significant portion of it occurred during Quaternary time. Collectively, these seismic data along with geomorphic and surface-geologic evidence suggest (1) the existence of at least one potential seismogenic structure in southeastern Missouri outside the main zones of New Madrid seismicity, and (2) these structures have been active during the Quaternary. The geographic location of the imaged deformation suggests it is related to structures along with the Commerce geophysical lineament.
Additional publication details
Deformation and Quaternary Faulting in Southeast Missouri across the Commerce Geophysical Lineament