Exciting news! We're transitioning to the Statewide California Earthquake Center. Our new website is under construction, but we'll continue using this website for SCEC business in the meantime. We're also archiving the Southern Center site to preserve its rich history. A new and improved platform is coming soon!

Prehistoric earthquakes on the Banning strand of the San Andreas fault, North Palm Springs, California

Bryan A. Castillo, Sally F. McGill, Katherine M. Scharer, Doug Yule, Devin McPhillips, James McNeil, Sourav Saha, Nathan D. Brown, & Seulgi Moon

Submitted September 11, 2022, SCEC Contribution #11990, 2022 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #245

We studied a paleoseismic trench excavated in 2017 across the Banning strand of the San Andreas fault and herein provide the first detailed record of ground-breaking earthquakes on this important fault in Southern California. The trench exposed an ~40-m-wide fault zone cutting through alluvial sand, gravel, silt, and clay deposits. We evaluated the paleoseismic record using a new metric that combines event indicator quality and stratigraphic uncertainty. The most recent paleoearthquake occurred between 950 and 730 calibrated years B.P. (cal yr B.P.), potentially contemporaneous with the last rupture of the San Gorgonio Pass fault zone. We interpret five surface-rupturing earthquakes since 3.3–2.5 ka and eight earthquakes since 7.1–5.7 ka. It is possible that additional events have occurred but were not recognized, especially in the deeper (older) section of the stratigraphy, which was not fully exposed across the fault zone. We calculated an average recurrence interval of 380–640 yr based on four complete earthquake cycles between earthquakes 1 and 5. The average recurrence interval is thus slightly less than the elapsed time since the most recent event on the Banning strand. The average recurrence interval on the Banning strand is thus intermediate between longer intervals published for the San Gorgonio Pass fault zone (~1600 yr) and shorter intervals on both the Mission Creek strand of the San Andreas fault (~215 yr) and the Coachella section (~125 yr) of the San Andreas fault.

Key Words
paleoseismology; earthquake geology; San Andreas Fault

Castillo, B. A., McGill, S. F., Scharer, K. M., Yule, D., McPhillips, D., McNeil, J., Saha, S., Brown, N. D., & Moon, S. (2022, 09). Prehistoric earthquakes on the Banning strand of the San Andreas fault, North Palm Springs, California . Poster Presentation at 2022 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
San Andreas Fault System (SAFS)