Date of Award
Master of Science
The Wabash Valley Seismic Zone (WVSZ) has produced three moderate sized earthquakes greater than or equal to mb 5.0 in the past 50 years. The majority of Wabash Valley faults originate near the junction of the Rough Creek and Cottage Grove faults and extend northeastward along the Wabash River. These faults extend through the Paleozoic and into the Precambrian and are believe to be associated with the Reelfoot Rift. Two of these moderate sized earthquakes have occurred north of the terminus of the Wabash Valley faults that the WVSZ is commonly associated with. This suggests that other sources of seismicity exist. The La Salle anticline, a Precambrian basement feature, is oriented NW to SE just north of the termination of these faults. The La Salle anticline creates up to a 750 meter uplift in the above Paleozoic strata. This uplift creates faults within the Paleozoic strata and within the La Salle anticline. This study uses seismometers arranged in a phased array near the southern terminus of the La Salle anticline to analyze the seismicity of the region. Analyzing the seismicity of the region over a 6-month period found 834 events. The vast majority were determined to be mine blasts or otherwise human induced. Two small earthquakes (~M 1.0) located near the La Salle anticline. These earthquakes likely occur on faults associated with the anticline. The lack of earthquakes suggested the b-value of the La Salle region could be as low as 0.56. This is lower than the typical value of 1, but consistent with other intraplate regions and previous studies of the WVSZ finding values nearer 0.7.
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