Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Earthquake recurrence on the Calaveras fault east of San Jose, California

January 1, 1979

Occurrence of small (3 ??? ML < 4) earthquakes on two 10-km segments of the Calaveras fault between Calaveras and Anderson reservoirs follows a simple linear pattern of elastic strain accumulation and release. The centers of these independent patches of earthquake activity are 20 km apart. Each region is characterized by a constant rate of seismic slip as computed from earthquake magnitudes, and is assumed to be an isolated locked patch on a creeping fault surface. By calculating seismic slip rates and the amount of seismic slip since the time of the last significant (M ??? 3) earthquake, it is possible to estimate the most likely date of the next (M ???- 3) event on each patch. The larger the last significant event, the longer the time until the next one. The recurrence time also appears to be increased according to the moment of smaller (2 < ML < 3) events in the interim. The anticipated times of future larger events on each patch, on the basis of preliminary location data through May 1977 and estimates of interim activity, are tabulated below with standard errors. The occurrence time for the southern zone is based on eight recurrent events since 1969, the northern zone on only three. The 95% confidence limits can be estimated as twice the standard error of the projected least-squares line. Events of M ??? 3 should not occur in the specified zones at times outside these limits. The central region between the two zones was the locus of two events (M = 3.6, 3.3) on July 3, 1977. These events occurred prior to a window based on the three point, post-1969 slip-time line for the central region. {A table is presented}. ?? 1979.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1979
Title Earthquake recurrence on the Calaveras fault east of San Jose, California
Authors C. G. Bufe, P.W. Harsh, R.O. Burford
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Tectonophysics
Index ID 70010335
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse