Structure of the San Andreas Fault Zone in the Salton Trough Region of Southern California: A Comparison with San Andreas Fault Structure in the Loma Prieta Area of Central California

Gary S. Fuis, Rufus D. Catchings, Daniel S. Scheirer, Mark R. Goldman, & Edward Zhang

Submitted August 1, 2016, SCEC Contribution #6446, 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #005

The San Andreas fault (SAF) in the northern Salton Trough, or Coachella Valley, in southern California, appears non-vertical and non-planar. In cross section, it consists of a steeply dipping segment (75 deg dip NE) from the surface to 6- to 9-km depth, and a moderately dipping segment below 6- to 9-km depth (50-55 deg dip NE). It also appears to branch upward into a flower-like structure beginning below about 10-km depth. Images of the SAF zone in the Coachella Valley have been obtained from analysis of steep reflections, earthquakes, modeling of potential-field data, and P-wave tomography.

Review of seismological and geodetic research on the 1989 M 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake, in central California (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1550), shows several features of SAF zone structure similar to those seen in the northern Salton Trough. Aftershocks in the Loma Prieta epicentral area form two chief clusters, a tabular zone extending from 18- to 9-km depth and a complex cluster above 5-km depth. The deeper cluster has been interpreted to surround the chief rupture plane, which dips 65-70 deg SW. When double-difference earthquake locations are plotted, the shallower cluster contains tabular subclusters that appear to connect the main rupture with the surface traces of the Sargent and Berrocal faults. In addition, a diffuse cluster may surround a steep to vertical fault connecting the main rupture to the surface trace of the SAF. These interpreted fault connections from the main rupture to surface fault traces appear to define a flower-like structure, not unlike that seen above the moderately dipping segment of the SAF in the Coachella Valley. But importantly, the SAF, interpreted here to include the main rupture plane, appears segmented, as in the Coachella Valley, with a moderately dipping segment below 9-km depth and a steep to vertical segment above that depth. We hope to clarify fault-zone structure in the Loma Prieta area by reanalyzing active-source data collected after the earthquake for steep reflections.

Key Words
San Andreas fault geometry, Salton Trough, Loma Prieta

Citation
Fuis, G. S., Catchings, R. D., Scheirer, D. S., Goldman, M. R., & Zhang, E. (2016, 08). Structure of the San Andreas Fault Zone in the Salton Trough Region of Southern California: A Comparison with San Andreas Fault Structure in the Loma Prieta Area of Central California. Poster Presentation at 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting.


Related Projects & Working Groups
Unified Structural Representation (USR)