Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


SWIATLOWSKI, Jerlyn L., Department of Physics, California State University, East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94542 and BURBERRY, Caroline M., Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 206 Bessey Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0340,

SE Nebraska and NE Kansas are underlain by the Precambrian Mid-Continental Rift (MCR) and the Pennsylvanian-Permian Nemaha Uplift (NU). The MCR is dated to approximately 1.1 Ga and extends from Lake Superior to Oklahoma. The Nemaha Uplift was created during the Ancestral Rocky Mountain Orogeny around 300 Ma. This orogeny reactivated pre-existing weak zones probably related to the MCR. Both fault systems may have been reactivated in subsequent tectonic regimes (e.g. the Cenozoic Laramide Orogeny), given the orientations of known surface faults in SE Nebraska/NE Kansas. This study aims to investigate the correlation between known basement and surface faults, and make predictions about the locations of additional large-scale structures in the subsurface in a portion of SE Nebraska-NE Kansas.

This study has used remote sensing and analog modeling methods to achieve this aim. Remote sensing of surface lineaments from Landsat data reveals four main lineament trends. Trends oriented at 035 and 055 are believed to correlate to the MCR and the NU respectively. There are two other prominent directions, one around 088 and another around 003 with no known associated basement faults.

From this data a series of analog models were constructed to test basement fault geometries that may have influenced the lineament orientations. Each model tested a different scenario of potential basement faults, increasing in complexity. Coarse sand was used to represent the basement and fine sand to represent the cover. Pre-existing faults were made by a cut in the sand using a knife. After calculating shortening of the area from different cross sections, the sand pack was compressed to about 15% bulk shortening. Photographs were taken every hour. The model was then sliced to create a series of cross sections showing the internal deformation.

In all models there is a strong correlation between modification of the surface faults and the underlying basement features. All models also showed reactivation of the basement faults. The most complex model showed uplift between the NU and 003 oriented faults, similar to the structures found on published cross-sections of the region. Thus we consider this model the closest analog to the study area. Future models will test the effects of including the 088 orientation as well as the effects of multi-phase deformation.