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!

Aseismic slip and seismogenic coupling along the central San Andreas Fault

Romain Jolivet, Mark Simons, Piyush S. Agram, Zacharie Duputel, & Zheng-Kang Shen

Published 2015, SCEC Contribution #2084

We use high-resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar- and GPS-derived observations of surface displacements to derive the first probabilistic estimates of fault coupling along the creeping section of the San Andreas Fault, in between the terminations of the 1857 and 1906 magnitude 7.9 earthquakes. Using a fully Bayesian approach enables unequaled resolution and allows us to infer a high probability of significant fault locking along the creeping section. The inferred discreet locked asperities are consistent with evidence for magnitude 6+ earthquakes over the past century in this area and may be associated with the initiation phase of the 1857 earthquake. As creeping segments may be related to the initiation and termination of seismic ruptures, such distribution of locked and creeping asperities highlights the central role of the creeping section on the occurrence of major earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault.

Jolivet, R., Simons, M., Agram, P. S., Duputel, Z., & Shen, Z. (2015). Aseismic slip and seismogenic coupling along the central San Andreas Fault. Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 1-10. doi: 10.1002/2014GL062222.