Arkansas Center for Earthquake Education and Technology Transfer

The Mississippi Embayment Synclinorium

In Late Cretaceous time, a shallow seaway once crossed North America from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. Eastern Arkansas consisted of a shallow ocean. This seaway was populated with now extinct clams, snails, sharks, and marine reptiles such as mosasaurs and plesiosaurs.

Sediment from this seaway slowly accumulated in a partial rift of the crust below called the Reelfoot Rift. These sediments consisted of sands, limey muds, and clays. These sediments eventually lithified (solidified) sandstone, limestone and shale.


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AArkansas Earthquake Center
College of Science and Engineering Technology
2801 South University
Little Rock AR 72204

(501) 569-8223

Last Updated: September 3, 1998

Copyright 1998, UALR
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