Discovery News 2010: San Andreas-like fault found in Northeastern U.S.

August 25, 2011NEW YORK – For 30 years geologists have been puzzled by a remarkably straight magnetic line that runs between New York and Alabama along the Appalachians. A more recent aerial magnetic survey of the Alabama end of the line suggests that it’s probably a 500-million-year-old San Andreas-style fault that appears to have slipped 137 miles (220 kilometers) to the right in the distant past. If so, it’s no surprise that the most dangerous part of the eastern Tennessee seismic zone is right next to part of this magnetic line and has the second-highest earthquake frequency in the eastern United States. “It’s most likely a strike-slip fault,” said Mark Steltenpohl of the University of Alabama at Auburn. “But it’s all buried.” The fault is invisible from the surface and there is very little information about it because no one has actually drilled down through it to investigate, Steltenpohl told Discovery News. That would, in fact, be pretty hard to do, since the fault zone is very narrow and it would be hard to find with a drill using just magnetic maps to set up a drill rig. “It’s almost a needle in a haystack,” said Steltenpohl. The New York-Alabama Lineament, as geologists call it, was first revealed by aerial magnetic mapping in 1978. Since then people have looked at smaller sections of it to try and understand it, with little success. Seismic surveys across the feature indicated it is very steep and runs very deep. “It’s been sort of enigmatic,” said U.S. Geological Survey geologist Wright Horton, a co-author with Steltenpohl on a paper in the June issue of the journal Geology about the fault. The key to seeing it as a strike-slip fault is detecting features that are cut off by the fault and offset. Those sorts of offsets were finally found in maps from a 2002 aerial magnetic survey of the Alabama part of the lineament, said Horton. “Once we got the south end of it pinned down, the rest of it fell into place,” Horton said. The fact that the fault has not cut through the layers of earth above it and shown itself on the Earth’s present surface suggests it’s not active and so people can probably rest easy. However, the fault and fractures related to it -– like the probably similarly-ancient faults of eastern Tennessee -– are not incapable of quakes. In fact they are perfect places for stresses in the crust to be released, so long as they are weakened by water, explained geophysicist John Costain of Virginia Tech. “If the lineament is there, then you’re sure to get earthquakes more than otherwise,” said Costain. –Discovery News  May 28, 2010
Although I do not attribute this fault system to the Virginia 5.8 magnitude earthquake, it does show the growing dangers of what’s hiding underneath the surface of the continental U.S. and the potential for geologic reactivation from increased seismic stresses. We now know that there are potentially very destructive volcanic and seismic fault hazards zones from one end of the coast of the U.S. to the other end.The Extinction Protocol
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, High-risk potential hazard zone, Lithosphere collapse & fisssure, Seismic tremors, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Discovery News 2010: San Andreas-like fault found in Northeastern U.S.

  1. AWatchman4Him says:

    Very interesting! There has been a lot of activity on the east coast, much of it in the 2.0’s but enough to raise your eyebrows over. I think there is a good possibility we could see a even greater quake hitting the New York area and soon. GOOD READ ALVIN !!!


  2. Debora says:

    Reminds me of Jack Reed, the retired Texaco geologist-geophysicist, who connected up some North American fault lines (including New Madrid and South Carolina) and the BP oil spill. He wrote an article in 2002 (well before BP) that laid out a North American fault line.

    I seem to remember he died mysteriously last year after connecting the dots between New Madrid/SC/BP spill, but for the life of me I cannot find info about his death. Very weird. Does anyone else remember this? Or have I slipped timelines again 😉 !



    • nickk0 says:

      Deb – If you find more information about what happened to Jeff Reed, please update us.

      I have seen that link before – It is very interesting.

      – Nick


    • SC says:

      Deb, I remember reading something about this. I remember it, because it was consistent with a vision I had about the connection of the New Madrid fault and the BP oil spill. I had the vision first and then read the article. I had no idea this gentlement mysteriously died. That is horrible!


  3. Dennis E. says:

    Alvin, Question: With these new fault discoveries within the boundaries of the USA and the one’s we know about, is it then feasible to believe that in the future, we could actually see the deformation of the USA into Islands, in that a portion of it could actually sink and become seabed?
    We do have evidence from previous civilizations, but, The USA?
    Just a thought.
    God bless


    • It’s more than a thought…it’s a worst-case scenerio admittedly but it’s theoretically possible depending on how far these earthchanges go. We know about the Cascadian Subduction Zone, Baja, and the San Andreas on the West Coast, Yellowstone in the Northwest quadrant (an active magma plume) the Mid-Continent Rift (though showing no signs of reactivation- could one day continue its split if stresses tore at the land mass from both directions) and New Madrid in the center of the the U.S. and then this fault along the Northeast and we’ve seen earthquake swarms in California, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado and now Virgina…so the planet is definitely come alive and changing. More surprises are sure to come in this process. The pressing question is no one knows just how far these changes will go once they start because the process becomes a runaway freight train once it goes fully kinetic. Earth is pretty much a wasteland compared to the way it must have originally looked according to the Biblical narrative and the accounts recorded in myths and legends by peoples who were surviving descendants of the first world patriachs.


      • Dennis E. says:

        Thanks Alvin for answering my question. As you wrote, expect some surprises in this process. My thought pattern regarding this was that we are witnessing the decline of the USA as a world leader and superpower. I know some people do not like that, but we need a reality check. All of a sudden, these ancient fault lines are being discovered or coming to life. I believe some of these earth change events could impact the usa beyond belief and change our status as a player on the world scene. I am not wishing it, It could happen.
        God bless and let’s get through Irene!


  4. J Guffey says:

    Looks like we are going to become more aware of this fault in the near future.


  5. Gen says:

    Every day this floods into my mind. It applies right around the globe.

    “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” Isaiah 29:13-14


    • Troybach says:

      Amen brother! The “these people” referred to reverence only themselves doing only what pleases themselves, comparing themselves with each other … let the LORD astound them so they might learn quickly the difference between those that truly serve GOD and those that only pretend to do so for personal gain and glory!


  6. whatchagonnado? says:

    Actually it looks like New York is having a few temors
    map 2.5 2011/08/25 16:55:53 42.688N 74.094W 20.3 22 km (14 mi) SW of Schenectady,NY
    map 2.0 2011/08/25 10:46:03 42.688N 74.094W 22.1 22 km (14 mi) SW of Schenectady,NY
    map 2.8 2011/08/25 09:13:32 42.683N 74.091W 18.5 23 km (14 mi) SW of Schenectady,NY
    map 1.9 2011/08/24 14:44:08 44.702N 74.392W 5.0 39 km (24 mi) NNW of Saranac Lk,NY
    MAP 3.4 2011/08/24 13:14:32 44.703N 74.382W 5.0 39 km (24 mi) NNW of Saranac Lk,NY
    map 1.5 2011/08/23 22:42:15 42.679N 74.091W 23.5 23 km (14 mi) SW of Schenectady,NY
    map 2.2 2011/08/23 06:35:17 42.687N 74.098W 21.4 23 km (14 mi) SW of Schenectady,NY
    map 1.8 2011/08/22 19:14:27 42.688N 74.096W 19.7 23 km (14 mi) SW of Schenectady,NY
    map 1.7 2011/08/22 17:57:42 42.682N 74.093W 20.3 23 km (14 mi) SW of Schenectady,NY
    map 1.7 2011/08/22 15:52:20 42.688N 74.049W 17.7 20 km (13 mi) SSW of Schenectady,NY


    • Thanks for the list whatchagonnado…


    • J Guffey says:

      Last night a frightful thought entered my mind. If was a “what if” senario for the East Coast of US. What if a sizable quake struck during the hurricane / flooding this weedend? Sure hope that is just a passing thought.


    • I saw that and was ready to post it. A lot of little tremblers happening there. It appears that many New Yorkers were never concerned about the possibility of a hurricane. Before last year, they weren’t very concerned with tornadoes either. Now they may need to be concerned with an Earthquake. Ever get a feeling that God is not happy with New York?


  7. Gen says:

    I can hear Mother Earth uttering these same words as Isaiah.


  8. Dennis E. says:

    Hey, Virginia is still having aftershocks, may not be over. I looked at the USGS site and that area is still active. We live in a world of change.


  9. Kim says:

    Did you note ” weakened by water”. I don’t think the Hurricane Irene is a coincidence. Alvin, is it the weight of the water that triggers the activity?

    Be filled with compassion and love as Jesus. The bridegroom is drawing near. Be ready…keep the wicks trimmed and your lamps filled.


    • The planet is waking up because it’s entering a new geologically-active phase. When I stated that the planet was entering a new geologic dynamism in January and stated this was the hypothesis I reached based on my research when I started writing my book in 2009, I had a geologist write in a vehemently disagree. Well…enough said.

      Grace in Christ,


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