Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Earth and Ocean Sciences



First Advisor

Camelia C Knapp


Investigations into the relationship between geologic structure and seismicity in and around the meizoseismal area of the 1886 Charleston earthquake have been ongoing since the 1970s. Seismic reflection profiles collected in this area display a prominent, laterally continuous, high amplitude, low frequency, two cycle reflection at ~0.7-1.2 s TWT, termed the "J" reflector, which has been correlated with Lower to Middle Jurassic tholeiitic basalt flows encountered in the Clubhouse Crossroads wells. The "J" reflector was also extended offshore onto the continental shelf. Recent reevaluation of sub Coastal Plain wells within the South Georgia Rift (SGR) Basin, including wells around the meizoseismal area of the 1886 Charleston earthquake, has shown most do not encounter basalt rising suspicions as to the true lithology of the "J"-reflector. Moreover, this same reflector has been interpreted to be the unconformity at the base of the Cretaceous-age Coastal Plain sediments. In order to define the regional extent of the Clubhouse Crossroads basalt, seismic inversion and attribute analysis were performed on two recently acquired reflection profiles, SC02_1 and SC02_5. Beginning in December 2010 through February 2011, seven 2D reflection profiles: SC02_1 - SC02_7 (total length 240 km) were acquired to the immediate west and northwest of the Charleston meizoseismal zone and legacy seismic data as part of DOE Award DE-FE0001965: Geologic Characterization of the South Georgia Rift Basin for Source Proximal C02 Storage project. The first profile, SC02_1, passes Norris Lightsey #1 and Rizer #1, two wells that never encountered basalt at the base of coastal plain. SC02_5, passes Dorchester 211, a well that bottomed into basalt at the base of the coastal plain. Variations in seismic attributes provides evidence for a western termination of the clubhouse crossroads basalt flow on SC02_1 and key support for visible amplitude variations at the contact between coastal plain-unconformity and coastal plain-basalt. Amplitude variations were then used to reinterpret the extent of the clubhouse crossroads basalt flow on vintage seismic profiles. Given new interpretations, the clubhouse crossroads basalt flow is much smaller in extent than previously estimated, covering approximately 20.4 x 105 km2.


© 2014, Craig Cunningham