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!

Coseismic Fault Slip Associated with the 1992 Mw 6.1 Joshua Tree California Earthquake: Implications for the Joshua Tree-Landers Earthquake Sequence

Richard A. Bennett, Robert Reilinger, William Rodi, Ying Ping Li, Nafi Toksos, & Kenneth W. Hudnut

Published April 10, 1995, SCEC Contribution #235

Coseismic surface deformation associated with the M w 6.1, April 23, 1992, Joshua Tree earthquake is well represented by estimates of geodetic monument displacements at 20 locations independently derived from Global Positioning System and trilateration measurements. The rms signal to noise ratio for these inferred displacements is 1.8 with near-fault displacement estimates exceeding 40 mm. In order to determine the long-wavelength distribution of slip over the plane of rupture, a Tikhonov regularization operator is applied to these estimates which minimizes stress variability subject to purely right-lateral slip and zero surface slip constraints. The resulting slip distribution yields a geodetic moment estimate of 1.7 × 1018 N m with corresponding maximum slip around 0.8 m and compares well with independent and complementary information including seismic moment and source time function estimates and main shock and aftershock locations. From empirical Green's function analyses, a rupture duration of 5 s is obtained which implies a rupture radius of 6–8 km. Most of the inferred slip lies to the north of the hypocenter, consistent with northward rupture propagation. Stress drop estimates are in the range of 2–4 MPa. In addition, predicted Coulomb stress increases correlate remarkably well with the distribution of aftershock hypocenters; most of the aftershocks occur in areas for which the mainshock rupture produced stress increases larger than about 0.1 MPa. In contrast, predicted stress changes are near zero at the hypocenter of the M w 7.3, June 28, 1992, Landers earthquake which nucleated about 20 km beyond the northernmost edge of the Joshua Tree rupture. Based on aftershock migrations and the predicted static stress field, we speculate that redistribution of Joshua Tree-induced stress perturbations played a role in the spatio-temporal development of the earthquake sequence culminating in the Landers event.

Bennett, R. A., Reilinger, R., Rodi, W., Li, Y., Toksos, N., & Hudnut, K. W. (1995). Coseismic Fault Slip Associated with the 1992 Mw 6.1 Joshua Tree California Earthquake: Implications for the Joshua Tree-Landers Earthquake Sequence. Journal of Geophysical Research, 100(B4), 6443-6461. doi: 10.1029/94JB02944.