Fault-Line Scarps Research

The publications, which I have published on my research are:

Heinrich, P. V., 1997, Pleistocene fault-line scarps and
neotectonics in Southwest Louisiana. Abstracts with Programs
- Geological Society of America. vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 23.

"An examination of topographic maps and aerial photography, combined with field investigations, demonstrates the presence of over 15 previously unmapped fault-line scarps in southwest Louisiana. These east-west trending scarps compose a zone that lies in southern Beauregard, Allen, and Evangeline parishes and northernmost Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, and Acadia parishes. The scarps range in height from 6.1 to 7.3 m (20 to 24) feet on the Intermediate Terraces, to 3.0 to 4.6 m (10 to 15 ft) on the Prairie Terraces, on which they offset or truncate the terrace surfaces and relict river channels. These scarps are the surface expression of early Tertiary growth faults reactivated during the Pleistocene. The growth history and distribution of these fault-line scarps substantiates the proposal by Nunn (1985, Geology, vol. 13:429-432) that known fault-line scarps to the east that are associated with the Tepetate fault system resulted from reactivation of early Tertiary growth faults in conjunction with the rapid sedimentary loading of the Louisiana continental shelf during the Pleistocene."


Heinrich, P. V., 2005a, Distribution and Origin of Fault-Line
Scarps of Southwest Louisiana. USA Gulf Coast Association of
Geological Societies Transactions. vol. 55, p. 284-293.

Compilation of fault-line scarps and traces from existing geologic mapping and revision of the resulting compilation using remote sensing data and various aerial images revealed a complex pattern of Quaternary fault-line scarps within southwest Louisiana. Numerous, generally eastwest trending, fault-line scarps form a 24 km wide east-west trending belt lying south of a line between Ville Platte, Louisiana and Kirbyville, Texas. The southern edge of it is marked by a relatively continuous set of fault-line scarps associated with the Tepetate fault zone. Numerous faultline scarps occur between the Tepetate fault zone and the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. However, these fault-line scarps lack any regional pattern, and many are associated with local salt domes and growth faults. The northernmost fault-line scarps found within southwest Louisiana consist of a narrow belt of prominent east-west trending scarps within southern Rapides Parish. Many of these Quaternary fault-line scarps are the surface expressions of known Tertiary growth faults, a number of which are associated with roll-over structures containing oil and gas fields. Such oil and gas fields were formed as the result of reactivation of the faults during the Pleistocene. The reactivation of these faults and the associated formation of these scarps represent the results of the loading of the Gulf of Mexico margin starting in Late Pliocene time. This loading has had the effect of reactivating regional fault trends such as the Tepetate fault zone and causing the renewed flowage of deep-seated salt.


Heinrich, P. V., 2005b, Surface Faulting Within the New Iberia,
Louisiana Region. Louisiana Geological Survey NewsInsights.
vol. 15, no.1, pp. 1-3.


Miller, B., and P. V. Heinrich, 2003, Hydrocarbon Production
and Surface Expression of the China segment of the Tepetate Fault
Zone, Louisiana. Transactions of the Gulf Association of Geological
Societies. vol. 53, pp. 548-554.


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January 28, 2008

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