Interpretation of lineaments and faults near Summerville, South Carolina, USA, using LiDAR data: implications for the cause of the 1886 Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake

Authors

  • Ronald T. Marple
  • James D. Hurd, Jr. Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4138/atlgeol.2020.003

Abstract

LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data acquired near Summerville, South Carolina, reveal numerous lineaments trending in various directions across the Middleton Place-Summerville seismic zone (MPSSZ) and surrounding area. These lineaments are defined by linear depressions and stream valleys that are developed within late Eocene to Holocene marine, marginal marine, and fluvial sediments of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The 40-kmlong, ENE-WSW-oriented Deer Park lineament coincides with the Woodstock epicenter of the 1886 Charleston earthquake, suggesting that the main shock may have occurred along a fault associated with this lineament. The proximity of the 17-km-long, ENE-WSW-oriented Middleton Place lineament to the Middleton Place epicenter suggests that it too may have ruptured in 1886. Several E-W-oriented topographic scarps are also located near the area of modern seismicity, including the 3- to 5-km-long, south-facing McChune and Summerwood scarps. The McChune scarp is aligned with the E-W-trending portion of the Summerville scarp to the west, suggesting that both scarps may be from uplift to the north along the same fault. The McChune scarp and the Otranto and Middleton Place lineaments coincide with faults interpreted from previously acquired seismic-reflection profiles, suggesting that these features are surface expressions of Quaternary faults. Other lineaments east of the MPSSZ are associated with Neogene structural domes, indicating that the interpreted faults along these lineaments have been active during the late Cenozoic. The LiDAR data also revealed a ~350-m dextral offset of a middle Pleistocene beach ridge along the Woodstock fault and a ~20-km-long, NW-SE-oriented lineament to the east (Canterhill
lineament) that appears to be the surface expression of the Charleston fault.

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Published

2020-05-22

How to Cite

Marple, R. T., & Hurd, Jr., J. D. (2020). Interpretation of lineaments and faults near Summerville, South Carolina, USA, using LiDAR data: implications for the cause of the 1886 Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake. Atlantic Geology, 56, 073–095. https://doi.org/10.4138/atlgeol.2020.003

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Articles