San Andreas Fault Damage at SAFOD Viewed with Fault-Guided Waves

Yong-Gang Li, & Peter E. Malin

Published April 19, 2008, SCEC Contribution #1128

Highly damaged rocks within the San Andreas fault zone at Parkfield form a low-velocity waveguide for seismic waves, giving rise to fault-guided waves. Prominent fault-guided waves have been observed at the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) site, including a surface array across the fault zone and a borehole seismograph placed in the SAFOD well at a depth of ∼2.7 km below ground. The resulting observations are modeled here using 3-D finite-difference methods. To fit the amplitude, frequency, and travel-time characteristics of the data, the models require a downward tapering, 30–40-m wide fault-core embedded in a 100–200-m wide jacket. Compared with the intact wall rocks, the core velocities are reduced by ∼40% and jacket velocities by ∼25%. Based on the depths of earthquakes generating guided waves, we estimate that the low-velocity waveguide along the fault at SAFOD extends at least to depths of ∼7 km, more than twice the depth reported in pervious studies.

Li, Y., & Malin, P. E. (2008). San Andreas Fault Damage at SAFOD Viewed with Fault-Guided Waves. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L08304. doi: 10.1029/2007GL032924.