Dislocation Modeling of the Blind Thrusts in the Eastern Los Angeles Basin, California

Daniel J. Myers, John Nabelek, & Robert S. Yeats

Published September 2003, SCEC Contribution #481

The East and West Coyote Hills in the eastern Los Angeles Basin are the surface expression of uplift accompanying blind reverse faulting. Folded Quaternary strata indicate that the hills are growing and that the faults underlying them are active. Detailed subsurface mapping in the East Coyote Oil Field shows that a previously mapped, reverse separation fault is predominantly an inactive, left-lateral, strike-slip fault that is not responsible for the uplift of the East Coyote Hills. The fault responsible for folding and uplift of the Coyote Hills does not cut wells in either the East or West Coyote Oil Fields. To characterize the geometry of the blind fault responsible for folding, we employ dislocation modeling. The dip and upper fault tip depths obtained from modeling suggest that the thrust fault beneath the Coyote Hills may be an extension of the Puente Hills blind thrust fault that continues westward beneath the Santa Fe Springs Oil Field. Modeling results suggest that the segment of the thrust fault responsible for folding the Coyote Hills would have accumulated 1500 m of reverse displacement over the last 1.2 Myr, yielding an average slip rate of 1.3 ± 0.5 mm/yr. The Santa Fe Springs segment of the fault has a slip rate of 1.5 ± 0.4 mm/yr for the last 1.2 Myr. The estimated moment magnitude for a reverse displacement earthquake on the Puente Hills blind thrust ranges from 6.6 to 7.2, depending on the length of the rupture. The estimated average recurrence interval for these earthquakes is 1700–3200 years.

Myers, D. J., Nabelek, J., & Yeats, R. S. (2003). Dislocation Modeling of the Blind Thrusts in the Eastern Los Angeles Basin, California. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108(B9), 2443. doi: 10.1029/2002JB002150.