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Deformation across the Salton Trough, California, 1973-1977

December 11, 1979

A trilateration network extending across the San Andreas, San Jacinto, and Elsinore faults in the vicinity of the Salton Sea, California, has been surveyed to very high precision several times in the 5‐year interval 1973–1977. The average strain across the entire network is essentially a uniaxial north‐south contraction at the rate of about 0.3 μstrain/a. There is no substantial strain perpendicular to the Salton trough, indicating no tendency to either open or close that rift. The observed uniaxial north‐south contraction differs from a pure shear parallel to the major faults by a uniform dilatation of about −0.25 μstrain/a that is only partly explained. The shear strain across the network reaches a maximum near the San Jacinto fault and could be explained by right lateral slip at depth on that fault. The displacement pattern also suggests right lateral slip at depth on the San Jacinto fault with total right lateral relative movement near 50 mm/a across the 120‐km breadth of the network. The deformation appears to be uniform in time in the 1973–1977 interval. A dislocation model of the deformation suggests about 50±15 mm/a of relative right lateral slip at depth distributed between the San Andreas, San Jacinto, and Elsinore faults and demonstrates that a significant average dilatation can be generated by pure strike slip on several subparallel faults.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1979
Title Deformation across the Salton Trough, California, 1973-1977
DOI 10.1029/JB084iB06p03069
Authors James C. Savage, W. H. Prescott, Michael Lisowski, N. King
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Series Number
Index ID 70207178
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center

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