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A geodetic strain rate model for the Pacific-North American plate boundary, western United States

Corné W. Kreemer, Bill C. Hammond, Geoffrey Blewitt, Austin A. Holland, & Richard A. Bennett

Published 2012, SCEC Contribution #6104

This map presents a model of crustal strain rates derived from Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements
of horizontal station velocities. The model indicates the spatial distribution of deformation rates within the Pacific
–North America plate boundary from the San Andreas fault system in the west to the Basin and Range province
in the east. As these strain rates are derived from data spanning the last two decades, the model reflects a best
estimate of present-day deformation. However, because rapid transient effects associated with earthquakes
(i.e., postseismic deformation resulting in curvature of the GPS time-series) have been removed from the GPS
data, these strain rates can be considered representative of the long-term, steady-state, deformation associated
with the accumulation of strain along faults. This model is useful for both seismic-hazard and geodynamic
studies to understand the activity rates of (known and unknown) faults and the plate tectonic boundary and
buoyancy forces that cause the deformation, respectively. In more slowly deforming areas we expect fewer,
smaller earthquakes and infrequent large earthquakes will have a much longer recurrence time compared to
those in rapidly deforming areas.

Kreemer, C. W., Hammond, B. C., Blewitt, G., Holland, A. A., & Bennett, R. A. (2012). A geodetic strain rate model for the Pacific-North American plate boundary, western United States. , : .