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Delineation of Tectonic Provinces of New York State as a Component of Seismic-Hazard Evaluation

TitleDelineation of Tectonic Provinces of New York State as a Component of Seismic-Hazard Evaluation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsFakundiny, RH
JournalNortheastern Geology and Environmental Sciences
Keywordseastern United States, Paleozoic strata, Proterozoic basement-rock terranes, Seismic-hazard evaluations

Seismic-hazard evaluations in the eastern United States must be based on interpretations of the composition and form of Proterozoic basement-rock terranes and overlying Paleozoic strata, and on factors that can cause relative movements among their units, rather than Phanerozoic orogenic structures, which may be independent of modern tectonics. The tectonic-province concept is a major part of both probabilistic and deterministic seismic-hazard evaluations, yet those that have been proposed to date have not attempted to geographically correlate modern earthquakes with regional basement structure. Comparison of basement terrane (megablock) boundaries with the spatial pattern of modern seismicity may lead to the mechanically sound definition of tectonic provinces, and thus, better seismic-hazard evaluation capability than is currently available. Delineation of megablock boundaries will require research on the many factors that affect their structure and movement. This paper discusses and groups these factors into two broad categories-megablock tectonics in relation to seismicity and regional horizontal-compressive stresses, with megablock tectonics divided into subcategories of basement, overlying strata, regional lineaments, basement tectonic terranes, earthquake epicenter distribution, and epeirogeny, and compressive stresses divided into pop-ups and the contemporary maximum horizontal-compressive stress field. A list presenting four to nine proposed research topics for each of these categories is given at the end.