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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 63 (1979)

Issue: 9. (September)

First Page: 1582

Last Page: 1582

Title: Bishop-Bradshaw Creek Fault: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Peter Lessing

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The Bishop-Bradshaw Creek fault extends 22 mi (35.2 km) across McDowell County, West Virginia. Initially identified on side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) in 1974, the fault trace has since been confirmed as a distinct linear feature trending N60°W on Landsat, black and white and color infrared photography, and topographic maps. Located astride the northwestern end of the fault trace is a semi-circular "donut," 5 mi (8 km) in diameter and truncated by a N25°E-trending linear fault. Displacement along the Bishop-Bradshaw Creek fault has been reported as .75 mi (1.2 km) right-lateral strike slip.

Considerable geologic information exists that contradicts the reported strike-slip displacement along this linear feature. Structural contours of the top of the Berea and the base of the Big Lime show a 150 ft/mi (28 m/km) westward dip, but neither map indicates any displacement. Further, a Berea isopach map does not show any indication of movement. After fracturing parallel and across the fault trace, a Berea gas field extending across the fault at Berwind shows elongations of contours of both natural open flow and flow without apparent displacement. Structural contour maps of the top of the Pocahontas 3, Sewell, and Douglas coal seams also show no measurable displacement. The same conclusion can be reached from examinations of geologic maps, the state aeromagnetic map, and elevation of salt water.

However, the use of the word "fault" has been retained. Coal mining at the southeastern end is presently taking place on both sides of the fault. At this location, the Pocahontas 3 seam is displaced 40 ft (12 m) vertically with the southern side downthrown. That is the only known place where fault displacement can be observed. The fault can be observed at Canebrake as a razor-sharp vertical fracture with slickensides oriented horizontally; however, displacement cannot be detected.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists