Hierarchical interlocked orthogonal faulting in the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence

Zachary E. Ross, Benjamin Idini, Zhe Jia, Oliver L. Stephenson, Minyan Zhong, Xin Wang, Zhongwen Zhan, Mark Simons, Eric J. Fielding, Sang-Ho Yun, Egill Hauksson, Angelyn W. Moore, Zhen Liu, & Jungkyo Jung

Published October 17, 2019, SCEC Contribution #10124

A nearly 20-year hiatus in major seismic activity in southern California ended on 4 July 2019 with a sequence of intersecting earthquakes near the city of Ridgecrest, California. This sequence included a foreshock with a moment magnitude (Mw) of 6.4 followed by a Mw 7.1 mainshock nearly 34 hours later. Geodetic, seismic, and seismicity data provided an integrative view of this sequence, which ruptured an unmapped multiscale network of interlaced orthogonal faults. This complex fault geometry persists over the entire seismogenic depth range. The rupture of the mainshock terminated only a few kilometers from the major regional Garlock fault, triggering shallow creep and a substantial earthquake swarm. The repeated occurrence of multifault ruptures, as revealed by modern instrumentation and analysis techniques, poses a formidable challenge in quantifying regional seismic hazards.

Ross, Z. E., Idini, B., Jia, Z., Stephenson, O. L., Zhong, M., Wang, X., Zhan, Z., Simons, M., Fielding, E. J., Yun, S., Hauksson, E., Moore, A. W., Liu, Z., & Jung, J. (2019). Hierarchical interlocked orthogonal faulting in the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence. Science, 366(6463), 346-351. doi: 10.1126/science.aaz0109.