A unified analysis of crustal motion in Southern California, 1970-2004: The SCEC Crustal Motion Map

Zheng-Kang Shen, Robert W. King, Duncan C. Agnew, Min Wang, Thomas A. Herring, Danan Dong, & Peng Fang

Published 2011, SCEC Contribution #1500

To determine crustal motion velocities in and around southern California, we have processed and combined trilateration data collected from 1970 to 1992, VLBI data from 1979 to 1992, and GPS data from 1986 to 2004: a long temporal coverage required in part by the occurrence of several large earthquakes in this region. From a series of solutions for station positions, we have estimated interseismic velocities, coseismic displacements, and postseismic motions. Within the region from 31 deg N to 38 deg N. and east to 114 deg W, the final product includes estimated horizontal velocities for 1009 GPS, 190 trilateration, and 16 VLBI points, with ties between some of these used to stabilize the solution. All motions are relative to the Stable North American Reference Frame (SNARF) as realized through the velocities of 20 GPS stations. This provides a relatively dense set of horizontal velocity estimates, with well-tested errors, for the past quarter century over the plate boundary from 31 deg N to 36.5 deg N. These velocities agree well with those from the Plate Boundary Observatory, which apply to a later time period. We also estimated vertical velocities, 533 of which have errors below 2 mm/yr. Most of these velocities are less than 1 mm/yr, but they show 2-4 mm/yr subsidence in the Ventura and Los Angeles basins and in the Salton Trough. Our analysis also included estimates of coseismic and postseismic motions related to the 1992 Landers, 1994 Northridge, 1999 Hector Mine, and 2003 San Simeon earthquakes. Postseismic motions increase logarithmically over time with a time constant of about 10 days, and generally mimic the direction and relative amplitude of the coseismic offsets.

Shen, Z., King, R. W., Agnew, D. C., Wang, M., Herring, T. A., Dong, D., & Fang, P. (2011). A unified analysis of crustal motion in Southern California, 1970-2004: The SCEC Crustal Motion Map. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, B11402. doi: 10.1029/2011JB008549 .