Quaternary displacement on the Joiner Ridge Fault, eastern Arkansas

Seismological Research Letters
By: , and 



The New Madrid seismic zone of the central United States is an intraplate seismic zone with blind structures that are not seismically active but may pose seismic hazards. The Joiner Ridge fault is the 35 km long east-bounding fault of the Joiner Ridge blind horst located in eastern Arkansas approximately 50 km northwest of Memphis, Tennessee. Shallow S-wave (SH-mode) seismic reflection profiles, continuous cores, and radiometric dating of Quaternary alluvium across the Joiner Ridge fault reveal down-to-the-east reverse faulting and folding within of the top of the Eocene strata and overlying Quaternary Mississippi River alluvium. The base of the Quaternary alluvium has an age of 20.3 ka and is vertically displaced 12 m, resulting in an average slip rate of 0.6 + 0.1 mm/yr over the past 20.3 ka. The overlying late Wisconsinan and Holocene alluvial facies are also displaced by the Joiner Ridge fault. These facies increase in thickness across the Joiner Ridge fault and were used to calculate late Wisconsinan and Holocene slip rates. The JRF slipped 7 m between 20.3 ka and 17.5 ka (2.8 ka), reflecting a slip rate of 2.5 + 0.3 mm/yr. From 12.3 ka to 11.5 ka (0.8 ka) the JRF slipped 3 m at an average slip rate of 3.8 + 0.9 mm/yr. There were 2 m of slip on the JRF between 11.5 ka and 8.9 ka (2.6 ka), reflecting a slip rate of 0.8 + 0.3 mm/yr. No apparent slip has occurred on the JRF within the last 8.90 ka. This research illustrates that slip rates on the JRF have varied through the late Wisconsinan and early Holocene, but the Joiner Ridge fault has been inactive since the middle Holocene.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quaternary displacement on the Joiner Ridge Fault, eastern Arkansas
Series title Seismological Research Letters
DOI 10.1785/0220190149
Volume 90
Issue 6
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Seismological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 2250
Last page 2261
Country United States
State Arkansas
Other Geospatial Joiner Ridge Fault
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