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Seismic imaging of the southern California plate-boundary around the South-Central Transverse Ranges using double-difference tomography

Pieter-Ewald Share, Yehuda Ben-Zion, Clifford H. Thurber, Haijiang Zhang, & Hao Guo

Published August 5, 2017, SCEC Contribution #7415, 2017 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #157

We derive P and S seismic velocities within and around the South-Central Transverse Ranges section of the San Andreas Fault (SAF), using a new double-difference tomography algorithm incorporating both event-pair and station-pair differential times. The event-pair data can determine high-resolution relative earthquake locations and resolve fine-scale structure in seismogenic zones, whereas station-pair data allow for better absolute locations and higher resolution of structure near the surface where stations are most dense. The tomographic results are based on arrival times of P and S waves generated by 17,753 M>1 local events from 1/1/2010 to 6/30/2015 recorded by 259 stations within a 222 km x 164 km region.

The resulting P and S velocity models include low velocities along major fault segments and across-fault velocity contrasts. For example, at depths <7 km, low velocity anomalies delineate the SAF from Cajon Pass to Coachella Valley, with the exception around San Gorgonio Pass (SGP) where a relatively fast rock body cuts across the fault. Extensive faulting and Pelona schist manifest as low velocities throughout the San Bernardino Basin (SBB). High velocity granites abut the SBB to the SW and NE, forming prominent velocity contrasts across the northern San Jacinto Fault Zone (SJFZ) and the SAF, respectively. At depths of 9-11 km, the models also show a velocity contrast with an areal extent of >50 km parallel to the SAF around Coachella Valley but offset to the NE by ~13 km. This is interpreted to mark a dipping section of the SAF that separates granites at depth in the SW from gneisses and schists in the NE. Analysis of fault zone head waves propagating along these sections of the SAF and SJFZ show that major bimaterial interfaces are associated with the observed velocity contrasts.

Additional features within the models include elongated low velocity anomalies extending from the SJFZ trifurcation area, which itself has associated low velocity at great depth (>14 km), to the Elsinore Fault in the SW. Moreover, a deep (>13 km) velocity contrast appears beneath the SBB with an east-west strike oblique to both the northern SJFZ and SAF traces. The latter is potentially related to the ancestral Banning Fault, which dips to the north, separating low velocity Pelona schist in the north from high velocity granites in the south.

Share, P., Ben-Zion, Y., Thurber, C. H., Zhang, H., & Guo, H. (2017, 08). Seismic imaging of the southern California plate-boundary around the South-Central Transverse Ranges using double-difference tomography. Poster Presentation at 2017 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
San Andreas Fault System (SAFS)