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!

San Jacinto fault zone guided waves: A discrimination for recently active fault strands near Anza, California

Yong-Gang Li, Frank L. Vernon, & Keiiti Aki

Published 1997, SCEC Contribution #355

We deployed three 350-m-long eight-element linear seismic arrays in the San Jacinto Fault Zone (SJFZ) near Anza, California, to record microearthquakes starting in August through December 1995. Two arrays were deployed 18 km northwest of Anza, across the Casa Loma fault (CLF) and the Hot Springs fault (HSF) strands of the SJFZ. The third array was deployed across the San Jacinto fault (SJF) in the Anza slip gap. We observed fault zone guided waves characterized by low-frequency, large amplitudes following S waves at the CLF array and the SJF array for earthquakes occurring within the fault zone. However, we did not observe guided waves at the HSF array for any events. The amplitude spectra of these guided waves showed peaks at 4 Hz at the CLF and 6 Hz at the SJF, which decreased sharply with the distance from the fault trace. In contrast, no spectral peaks at frequency lower than 6 Hz were registered at the HSF array. We used a finite difference method to simulate these guided modes as 5 waves trapped in a low-velocity waveguide sandwiched between high-velocity wall rocks. The guided mode data are adequately fit by a waveguide on the CLF with the average width of 120 m and S velocity of 2.5 km/s, about 25% reduced from the S velocity of the surrounding rock; this waveguide becomes 40 to 60 m wide with the 5 velocity of 2.8 km/s in the Anza slip gap. On the other hand, there is not a continuous waveguide on the HSF at depth. Locations of the events with guided modes suggest that the fault plane waveguide extends along the CLF between the towns of San Jacinto and Anza, dipping northeastward at 75°–80° to a depth of about 18 km; it becomes nearly vertical in the Anza gap. We speculate that the existence of a continuous low-velocity waveguide on the CLF can be caused by the rupture of the magnitude 6.9 earthquake on April 21, 1918, occurring near the towns of San Jacinto and Hemet. Further, the lack of a clear waveguide on the HSF suggests that it was not ruptured in this event.

Li, Y., Vernon, F. L., & Aki, K. (1997). San Jacinto fault zone guided waves: A discrimination for recently active fault strands near Anza, California. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102(B6), 11689-11701. doi: 10.1029/97JB01050.