Southeastern Section - 63rd Annual Meeting (10–11 April 2014)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 10:55 AM


CARPENTER, N. Seth, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, 228 Mining and Mineral Resources Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0107, WANG, Zhenming, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, 228 Mining and Mineral Resources Building, Lexington, KY 40506 and WOOLERY, Edward W., Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, 101 Slone Research Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0053,

The 2011 Mw 5.7 Mineral, Va., earthquake occurred outside of the two main seismic zones in the central and eastern United States: the New Madrid and Charleston seismic zones. Similarly, strong earthquakes recorded instrumentally, including the 1980 Mw 5.1 Sharpsburg, the 2008 Mw 5.4 Southern Illinois, and others (greater than 5.0 in the region), also occurred outside of the two main seismic zones. This seismicity suggests that seismic network priorities need to be adjusted. This seismicity also suggests that the current seismic hazard assessment needs to be adjusted.

The Kentucky Seismic and Strong-Motion Network began operation following the 1980 Mw 5.1 Sharpsburg earthquake, which occurred on the western edge of the Appalachian Plateau in eastern Kentucky. The network has undergone expansion and upgrades in recent years, an effort motivated by ongoing seismicity including the 2011 Mw 5.7 Mineral, Va., and 2012 Mw 4.2 Perry County, Ky., earthquakes. Both of these recent events caused minor damage to buildings in the Appalachians of Kentucky including the Pike County and Letcher County courthouses. Unfortunately, no strong-motion stations were operating in Kentucky near the areas that were damaged by these earthquakes. Because of this, the network expansion and upgrades has included adding strong-motion instrumentation to many stations, and by the time of the Perry County earthquake, the network operated a strong-motion station that recorded the event, albeit 160 km from the source. Currently, three stations produce real-time strong-motion data in central and eastern Kentucky; at least one more is planned for deployment in 2014. These stations fill a large gap in strong-motion data coverage in the Appalachians, which would otherwise stretch approximately 275 km from the Kentucky-Ohio border in the north to northern Tennessee in the south, and includes the northern extent of the Eastern Tennessee seismic zone in the vicinity of the Perry County earthquake.

  • 3-7_CarpenterNS_2014SE-GSA.pdf (5.2 MB)