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Seismic zones, river deltas, landslides, fossil reptiles, and more new Geology science
Date:3/6/2012

tes is generally attributed to a stepover structure in which the Reelfoot thrust fault transfers slip between parallel strike-slip faults. However, parts of the seismic zone do not fit this simple model. Comparison of the NMSZ with an analog sandbox model explains all of the arms of seismicity as only part of the extensive pattern of faults that characterizes stepover structures. Computer models show that the stepover structure may form because of differences in the trends of lower crustal shearing and inherited upper crustal faults. Thomas L. Pratt of the U.S. Geological Survey concludes that the models predict that the modern seismicity occurs only on a subset of the faults in the New Madrid stepover structure, that only the southern part of the stepover structure ruptured in the infamous 1811-1812 earthquakes, and that the stepover formed because the trends of older faults are not the same as the current direction of shearing.


Gas domes in soft cohesive sediments
Mark A. Barry et al., Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford Street, PO Box 15000, Halifax, B3H 4R2 Nova Scotia, Canada. Published online 14 Feb. 2012; doi: 10.1130/G32686.1.

The accumulation of gaseous methane can generate seabed domes that can in turn lead to seafloor instability, act as precursors to pockmark formation, and potentially pose a threat to seafloor drilling. The generation of these domes may also increase in frequency due to future melting of gas hydrates within the seabed, leading to increased methane release to the atmosphere. Despite their geological and practical significance, sediment gas-dome formation remains poorly understood. Mark A. Barry of Dalhousie University and colleagues conducted small-scale laboratory doming experiments with marine sediments to gain a quantitative understanding seabed doming. The domes created were well described by elastic mechanics, from which it is possible to predict the gas pressure r
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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