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Anomalously high uplift rates along the Ventura-Santa Barbara Coast, California-tectonic implications

January 1, 1979

The NW-SE trending segments of the California coastline from Point Arena to Point Conception (500 km) and from Los Angeles to San Diego (200 km) generally parallel major right-lateral strike-slip fault systems. Minor vertical crustal movements associated with the dominant horizontal displacements along these fault systems are recorded in local sedimentary basins and slightly deformed marine terraces. Typical maximum uplift rates during Late Quaternary time are about 0.3 m/ka, based on U-series ages of corals and amino-acid age estimates of fossil mollusks from the lowest emergent terraces. In contrast, the E-W-trending segments of the California coastline between Point Conception and Los Angeles (200 km) parallel predominantly northward-dipping thrust and high-angle reverse faults of the western Transverse Ranges. Along this coast, marine terraces display significantly greater vertical deformation. Amino-acid age estimates of mollusks from elevated marine terraces along the Ventura-Santa Barbara coast imply anomalously high uplift rates of between 1 and 6 m/ka over the past 40 to 100 ka. The deduced rate of terrace uplift decreases from Ventura to Los Angeles, conforming with a similar trend observed by others in contemporary geodetic data. The more rapid rates of terrace uplift in the western Transverse Ranges reflect N-S crustal shortening that is probably a local accommodation of the dominant right-lateral shear strain along coastal California. ?? 1979.

Publication Year 1979
Title Anomalously high uplift rates along the Ventura-Santa Barbara Coast, California-tectonic implications
Authors J.F. Wehmiller, A. Sarna-Wojcicki, R. F. Yerkes, K. R. Lajoie
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Tectonophysics
Index ID 70010425
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse