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Vol. 55 (2019)

Sonar and LiDAR investigation of lineaments offshore between central New England and the New England seamounts, USA

July 28, 2018
April 1, 2019


High-resolution multibeam echosounder (MBES) and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data, combined with regional gravity and aeromagnetic anomaly maps of the western Gulf of Maine, reveal numerous lineaments between central New England and the New England seamounts. Most of these lineaments crosscut the NE-SWtrending accreted terranes, suggesting that they may be surface expressions of deep basement-rooted faults that have fractured upward through the overlying accreted terranes or may have formed by the upward push of magmas produced by the New England hotspot. The 1755 Cape Ann earthquake may have occurred on a fault associated with one of these lineaments. The MBES data also reveal a NW-SE-oriented scarp just offshore from Biddeford Pool, Maine (Biddeford Pool scarp), a 60-km-long, 20-km-wide Isles of Shoals lineament zone just offshore from southeastern New Hampshire, a 50-m-long zone of mostly low-lying, WNW-ESE-trending, submerged ridge-like features and scarps east of Boston, Massachusetts, and a ~180-km-long, WNW-ESE-trending Olympus lineament zone that traverses the continental margin south of Georges Bank. Three submarine canyons are sinistrally offset ~1–1.2 km along the Thresher canyon lineament of the Olympus lineament zone.