Northeastern Section - 40th Annual Meeting (March 14–16, 2005)

Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


MCCUSKER, Angus, Geology Department, GIS Laboratory, St. Lawrence Univ, Park Street, Canton, NY 13617 and REVETTA, Frank A., SUNY - College at Potsdam, Dept Geology, Potsdam, NY 13676,

Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is used on the undergraduate level as a teaching and research tool. This technology was used to create a series of maps of earthquake epicenters and gravity measurements in New York State and Pennsylvania. The gravity data, collected by undergraduates at SUNY Potsdam and earthquake epicenter locations taken from New York State Geological Survey archives and the Potsdam Seismic Network were converted to an ARCGIS grid. The data layers of gravity data and earthquake epicenter locations are displayed with political state boundaries to study the relationship between gravity anomalies and earthquake epicenters. The project involved the compilation of 6500 gravity measurements and 370 earthquake epicenters in New York.

The compilation of both datasets to compile gravity-seismicity maps revealed correlations between gravity anomalies and earthquake epicenters not previously recognized. An east-west trending gravity high north of the Adirondacks in northern New York correlates with a belt of earthquakes of shallow depth (<18 Km). This is the most seismically active area in New York State. The large gravity anomalies and steep gradients indicate the anomalies have a shallow source in an outer brittle layer where the earthquake hypocenters are located. In western New York the earthquakes have a northwest trend which correlates with a northwest trending gravity high. In southeastern New York the epicenters lie along a northeast trending gravity gradient. The Scranton gravity high extending from Albany to Harrisburg has a deep seated origin with few earthquake epicenters.