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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2014-08-08
    Description: The determination of near-surface (vadose zone and slightly below) fault locations and geometries is important because assessment of ground rupture, strong shaking, geologic slip rates, and rupture histories occurs at shallow depths. However, seismic imaging of fault zones at shallow depths can be difficult due to near-surface complexities, such as weathering, groundwater saturation, massive (nonlayered) rocks, and vertically layered strata. Combined P - and S -wave seismic-refraction tomography data can overcome many of the near-surface, fault-zone seismic-imaging problems because of differences in the responses of elastic (bulk and shear) moduli of P and S waves to shallow-depth, fault-zone properties. We show that high-resolution refraction tomography images of P - to S -wave velocity ratios ( V P / V S ) can reliably identify near-surface faults. We demonstrate this method using tomography images of the San Andreas fault (SAF) surface-rupture zone associated with the 18 April 1906 ~ M  7.9 San Francisco earthquake on the San Francisco peninsula in California. There, the SAF cuts through Franciscan mélange, which consists of an incoherent assemblage of greywacke, chert, greenstone, and serpentinite. A near-vertical zone (~75° northeast dip) of high P -wave velocities (up to 3000 m/s), low S -wave velocities (~150–600 m/s), high V P / V S ratios (4–8.8), and high Poisson’s ratios (0.44–0.49) characterizes the main surface-rupture zone to a depth of about 20 m and is consistent with nearby trench observations. We suggest that the combined V P / V S imaging approach can reliably identify most near-surface fault zones in locations where many other seismic methods cannot be applied.
    Print ISSN: 0037-1106
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-3573
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 2
  • 3
    Publication Date: 2000-08-01
    Description: The Coachella Valley area was strongly shaken by the 1992 Joshua Tree (23 April) and Landers (28 June) earthquakes, and both events caused triggered slip on active faults within the area. Triggered slip associated with the Joshua Tree earthquake was on a newly recognized fault, the East Wide Canyon fault, near the south-western edge of the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Slip associated with the Landers earthquake formed along the San Andreas fault in the southeastern Coachella Valley. Surface fractures formed along the East Wide Canyon fault in association with the Joshua Tree earthquake. The fractures extended discontinuously over a 1.5-km stretch of the fault, near its southern end. Sense of slip was consistently right-oblique, west side down, similar to the long-term style of faulting. Measured offset values were small, with right-lateral and vertical components of slip ranging from 1 to 6 mm and 1 to 4 mm, respectively. This is the first documented historic slip on the East Wide Canyon fault, which was first mapped only months before the Joshua Tree earthquake. Surface slip associated with the Joshua Tree earthquake most likely developed as triggered slip given its 5 km distance from the Joshua Tree epicenter and aftershocks. As revealed in a trench investigation, slip formed in an area with only a thin (〈3 m thick) veneer of alluvium in contrast to earlier documented triggered slip events in this region, all in the deep basins of the Salton Trough. A paleoseismic trench study in an area of 1992 surface slip revealed evidence of two and possibly three surface faulting events on the East Wide Canyon fault during the late Quaternary, probably latest Pleistocene (first event) and mid- to late Holocene (second two events). About two months after the Joshua Tree earthquake, the Landers earthquake then triggered slip on many faults, including the San Andreas fault in the southeastern Coachella Valley. Surface fractures associated with this event formed discontinuous breaks over a 54-km-long stretch of the fault, from the Indio Hills southeastward to Durmid Hill. Sense of slip was right-lateral; only locally was there a minor ( approximately 1 mm) vertical component of slip. Measured dextral displacement values ranged from 1 to 20 mm, with the largest amounts found in the Mecca Hills where large slip values have been measured following past triggered-slip events.
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2006-09-01
    Description: Surface fracturing occurred along the San Andreas fault, the subparallel Southwest Fracture Zone, and six secondary faults in association with the 28 September 2004 (M 6.0) Parkfield earthquake. Fractures formed discontinuous breaks along a 32-km-long stretch of the San Andreas fault. Sense of slip was right lateral; only locally was there a minor (1-11 mm) vertical component of slip. Right-lateral slip in the first few weeks after the event, early in its afterslip period, ranged from 1 to 44 mm. Our observations in the weeks following the earthquake indicated that the highest slip values are in the Middle Mountain area, northwest of the mainshock epicenter (creepmeter measurements indicate a similar distribution of slip). Surface slip along the San Andreas fault developed soon after the mainshock; field checks in the area near Parkfield and about 5 km to the southeast indicated that surface slip developed more than 1 hr but generally less than 1 day after the event. Slip along the Southwest Fracture Zone developed coseismically and extended about 8 km. Sense of slip was right lateral; locally there was a minor to moderate (1-29 mm) vertical component of slip. Right-lateral slip ranged from 1 to 41 mm. Surface slip along secondary faults was right lateral; the right-lateral component of slip ranged from 3 to 5 mm. Surface slip in the 1966 and 2004 events occurred along both the San Andreas fault and the Southwest Fracture Zone. In 1966 the length of ground breakage along the San Andreas fault extended 5 km longer than that mapped in 2004. In contrast, the length of ground breakage along the Southwest Fracture Zone was the same in both events, yet the surface fractures were more continuous in 2004. Surface slip on secondary faults in 2004 indicated previously unmapped structural connections between the San Andreas fault and the Southwest Fracture Zone, further revealing aspects of the structural setting and fault interactions in the Parkfield area.
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2008-12-01
    Description: To better understand the structure of the San Andreas fault (SAF) at Burro Flats in southern California, we acquired a three-dimensional combined set of seismic reflection and refraction profiles centered on the main active trace at Burro Flats. In this article, we discuss the variation in shallow-depth velocities along each seismic profile, with special emphasis on the 1500 m/sec P-wave velocity contour, which can be an indicator of shallow-depth water-saturated unconsolidated sediments. Along the four seismic profiles, minimum depths of the groundwater table, as inferred from 1500 m/sec velocity contour, range from 10 to about 20 m. The largest variations in depth to the top of the groundwater table occur in areas near mapped faults, suggesting that the groundwater flow in Burro Flats is strongly affected by the locations of fault traces. We also used the seismic data to develop seismic reflection images that show multiple strands of the SAF in the upper 60 m. Reflectors above the 10 m depth probably correspond to Holocene alluvial deposits; reflectors below the 15 m depth probably arise from velocity or density variations within the Precambrian gneiss complex, likely due to weathering. Apparent vertical offsets of reflectors are observed along profiles (lines 1 and 2) that are normal to the SAF, indicating minor apparent vertical offsets on the SAF at shallow depths. Along line 2, the apparently vertically offset reflectors correlate with zones of relatively low P-wave velocity. Along the central part of lines 1 and 2, the faults form a flower structure, which is typical of strike-slip faults such as the SAF.
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2002-05-01
    Description: Surface fracturing occurred along the southern San Andreas, Superstition Hills, and Imperial faults in association with the 16 October 1999 (M (sub w) 7.1) Hector Mine earthquake, making this at least the eighth time in the past 31 years that a regional earthquake has triggered slip along faults in the Salton Trough. Fractures associated with the event formed discontinuous breaks over a 39-km-long stretch of the San Andreas fault, from the Mecca Hills southeastward to Salt Creek and Durmid Hill, a distance from the epicenter of 107 to 139 km. Sense of slip was right lateral; only locally was there a minor ( approximately 1 mm) vertical component of slip. Dextral slip ranged from 1 to 13 mm. Maximum slip values in 1999 and earlier triggered slips are most common in the central Mecca Hills. Field evidence indicates a transient opening as the Hector Mine seismic waves passed the southern San Andreas fault. Comparison of nearby strong-motion records indicates several periods of relative opening with passage of the Hector Mine seismic wave--a similar process may have contributed to the field evidence of a transient opening. Slip on the Superstition Hills fault extended at least 9 km, at a distance from the Hector Mine epicenter of about 188 to 196 km. This length of slip is a minimum value, because we saw fresh surface breakage extending farther northwest than our measurement sites. Sense of slip was right lateral; locally there was a minor ( approximately 1 mm) vertical component of slip. Dextral slip ranged from 1 to 18 mm, with the largest amounts found distributed (or skewed) away from the Hector Mine earthquake source. Slip triggered on the Superstition Hills fault commonly is skewed away from the earthquake source, most notably in 1968, 1979, and 1999. Surface slip on the Imperial fault and within the Imperial Valley extended about 22 km, representing a distance from the Hector Mine epicenter of about 204 to 226 km. Sense of slip dominantly was right lateral; the right-lateral component of slip ranged from 1 to 19 mm. Locally there was a minor ( approximately 1-2 mm) vertical component of slip; larger proportions of vertical slip (up to 10 mm) occurred in Mesquite basin, where scarps indicate long-term oblique-slip motion for this part of the Imperial fault. Slip triggered on the Imperial fault appears randomly distributed relative to location along the fault and source direction. Multiple surface slips, both primary and triggered slip, indicate that slip repeatedly is small at locations of structural complexity.
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2002-05-01
    Description: Paleoseismic investigations of the Lavic Lake fault at Lavic Lake playa place constraints on the timing of a possible earlier earthquake along the 1999 Hector Mine rupture trace and reveal evidence of the timing of the penultimate earthquake on a strand of the Lavic Lake fault that did not rupture in 1999. Three of our four trenches, trenches A, B, and C, were excavated across the 1999 Hector Mine rupture; a fourth trench, D, was excavated across a vegetation lineament that had only minor slip at its southern end in 1999. Trenches A-C exposed strata that are broken only by the 1999 rupture; trench D exposed horizontal bedding that is locally warped and offset by faults. Stratigraphic evidence for the timing of an earlier earthquake along the 1999 rupture across Lavic Lake playa was not exposed. Thus, an earlier event, if there was one along that rupture trace, predates the lowest stratigraphic level exposed in our trenches. Radiocarbon dating of strata near the bottom of trenches constrains a possible earlier event to some time earlier than about 4950 B.C. Buried faults revealed in trench D are below a vegetation lineament at the ground surface. A depositional contact about 80 cm below the ground surface acts as the upward termination of fault breaks in trench D. Thus, this contact may be the event horizon for a surface-rupturing earthquake prior to 1999-the penultimate earthquake on the Lavic Lake fault. Radiocarbon ages of detrital charcoal samples from immediately below the event horizon indicate that the earthquake associated with the faulting occurred later than A.D. 260. An approximately 1300-year age difference between two samples at about the same stratigraphic level below the event horizon suggests the potential for a long residence time of detrital charcoal in the area. Coupled with a lack of bioturbation that could introduce young organic material into the stratigraphic section, the charcoal ages provide only a maximum bounding age; thus, the recognized event may be younger. There is abundant, subtle evidence for pre-1999 activity of the Lavic Lake fault in the playa area, even though the fault was not mapped near the playa prior to the Hector Mine earthquake. The most notable indicators for long-term presence of the fault are pronounced, persistent vegetation lineaments and uplifted basalt exposures. Primary and secondary slip occurred in 1999 on two southern vegetation lineaments, and minor slip locally formed on a northern lineament; trench exposures across the northern vegetation lineament revealed the post-A.D. 260 earthquake, and a geomorphic trough extends northward into alluvial fan deposits in line with this lineament. The presence of two basalt exposures in Lavic Lake playa indicates the presence of persistent compressional steps and uplift along the fault. Fault-line scarps are additional geomorphic markers of repeated slip events in basalt exposures.
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  • 8
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2002-05-01
    Description: The Hector Mine, California, earthquake (Mw 7.1) struck the Mojave Desert at 09:46 UTC, 16 October 1999. The earthquake occurred approximately 55 km northwest of the town of Twentynine Palms, California, and about 200 km east-northeast of Los Angeles (Fig. 1). The shock was widely felt throughout southern California, southern Nevada, western Arizona, and northernmost Baja California, Mexico. The Hector Mine earthquake, like the Mw 7.3 Landers earthquake seven years earlier, was associated with fault rupture in the eastern California shear zone (ECSZ) (Fig. 1), which is an approximately 80-km-wide zone of deformation that accommodates about 24% of the relative Pacific–North American plate motion (Sauber et al., 1986, 1994; Dokka and Travis, 1990; Savage et al., 1990, 2001; Gan et al., 2000; Miller et al., 2001). A block diagram highlighting some of the basic aspects of the Hector Mine earthquake is presented in Figure 2. A preliminary summary of the Hector Mine earthquake, its effects, and the response of the geoscience community is presented by Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey; Southern California Earthquake Center, and California Division of Mines and Geology (USGS, SCEC, and CDMG, 2000)...
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