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Projects

Collaborative Study in the Mississippi Embayment

Principal Investigator: Joan Gomberg, US Geological Survey (USGS)

The overall goal of this project is to provide high-resolution images of the sediment structure in the Mississippi embayment, which will in turn provide key constraints on earthquake hazard assessments in this large, at risk area. Funding is provided jointly by both the USGS and the NSF.

This is motivated by the need to better understand the spatial and long-term temporal patterns of deformation in the New Madrid seismic zone, so that earthquake recurrence models that underlie hazard assessments may be put on sounder scientific footing. We suggest that this can be done while also addressing the need to better constrain how seismic waves propagate in the tremendously thick sediments of the Mississippi embayment, another key aspect of earthquake hazard assessments in the region.

The project consists of two complementary experiments:

  1. Using the Thumper, obtain an approximately 15-km long, high-resolution compressional-wave reflection image of the subsurface geology, including faults and folds, in the 30- to 1000-meter depth range.
  2. Obtain shear-wave images of the upper ~300 m at several sites within the embayment, using a variety of surface-wave analyses.

Click the following link to download an informational poster for this project:
Post-Eocene Deformation Observed in Seismic-Reflection Profiles Across the Southwestern Blytheville Arch and Crowley's Ridge, Arkansas [6454KB]