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Variations of Stress Parameters in the Southern California Plate Boundary Around the South Central Transverse Ranges

Niloufar Abolfathian, Patricia Martínez‐Garzón, & Yehuda Ben-Zion

Published August 14, 2020, SCEC Contribution #10053

We examine the stress field in Southern California with a focus on the region near the South Central Transverse Ranges (SCTR), using a refined stress inversion methodology. We independently invert declustered and aftershocks focal mechanisms from the years 1981 to 2017. Comparisons between the stress field orientations and the stress ratios from these inversions provide information on local sources of the stress field. Regionally, the SHmax tends to be toward NNE and the stress ratios vary from transtensional stress regime near the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ), to strike‐slip faulting near the SCTR, and toward transpression near the Western Transverse Ranges. Detailed analysis of stress parameters near the SCTR indicates deviations from the regional strike‐slip faulting including the following: (1) The San Bernardino Mountain area shows SHmax direction toward NNW and transpressional stress components likely associated with the motions of the San Andreas Fault and ECSZ; (2) the Cajon Pass and San Gorgonio Pass show transpressional stress regime near the bottom of the seismogenic zone likely associated with the elevated topography; and (3) in Crafton Hills, rotation of the principal stress plunges and SHmax direction and transtensional stress regime below ~10 km, along with lower estimated apparent friction coefficient, suggest a weak fault possibly associated with deep creep. The performed multiscale analysis resolves effects of regional and local loadings. The average stress parameters in the analyzed 37 years do not show significant temporal variations of stress field near the SCTR region.

Abolfathian, N., Martínez‐Garzón, P., & Ben-Zion, Y. (2020). Variations of Stress Parameters in the Southern California Plate Boundary Around the South Central Transverse Ranges. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125(8). doi: 10.1029/2020JB019482.