Paleoseismic Evidence for Recurrence of Earthquakes near Charleston, South Carolina

Science  26 Jul 1985:
Vol. 229, Issue 4711, pp. 379-381
DOI: 10.1126/science.229.4711.379


A destructive earthquake that occurred in 1886 near Charleston, South Carolina, was associated with widespread liquefaction of shallow sand structures and their extravasation to the surface. Several seismically induced paleoliquefaction structures preserved within the shallow sediments in the meizoseismal area of the 1886 event were identified. Field evidence and radiocarbon dates suggest that at least two earthquakes of magnitudes greater than 6.2 preceded the 1886 event in the past 3000 to 3700 years. The evidence yielded an initial estimate of about 1500 to 1800 years for the maximum recurrence of destructive, intraplate earthquakes in the Charleston region.