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Marine terrace deformation, san diego county, California

January 1, 1979

The NW-SE trending southern California coastline between the Palos Verdes Peninsula and San Diego roughly parallels the southern part and off-shore extension of the dominantly right-lateral, strike-slip, Newport-Inglewood fault zone. Emergent marine terraces between Newport Bay and San Diego record general uplift and gentle warping on the northeast side of the fault zone throughout Pleistocene time. Marine terraces on Soledad Mt. and Point Loma record local differential uplift (maximum 0.17 m/ka) during middle to late Pleistocene time on the southwest side of the fault (Rose Canyon fault) near San Diego. The broad Linda Vista Mesa (elev. 70-120 m) in the central part of coastal San Diego County, previously thought to be a single, relatively undeformed marine terrace of Plio-Pleistocene age, is a series of marine terraces and associated beach ridges most likely formed during sea-level highstands throughout Pleistocene time. The elevations of the terraces in this sequence gradually increase northwestward to the vicinity of San Onofre, indicating minor differential uplift along the central and northern San Diego coast during Pleistocene time. The highest, oldest terraces in the sequence are obliterated by erosional dissection to the northwest where uplift is greatest. Broad, closely spaced (vertically) terraces with extensive beach ridges were the dominant Pleistocene coastal landforms in central San Diego County where the coastal slope is less than 1% and uplift is lowest. The beach ridges die out to the northwest as the broad low terraces grade laterally into narrower, higher, and more widely spaced (vertically) terraces on the high bluffs above San Onofre where the coastal slope is 20-30% and uplift is greatest. At San Onofre the terraces slope progressively more steeply toward the ocean with increasing elevation, indicating continuous southwest tilt accompanying uplift from middle to late Pleistocene time. This southwest tilt is also recorded in the asymmetrical valleys of major local streams where strath terraces occur only on the northeast side of NW-SE-trending valley segments. The deformational pattern (progressively greater uplift to the northwest with slight southwest tilt) recorded in the marine and strath terraces of central and northern coastal San Diego County conforms well with the historic pattern derived by others from geodetic data. It is not known how much of the Santa Ana structural block (between the Newport-Inglewood and the Elsinore fault zones) is affected by this deformational pattern. ?? 1979.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1979
Title Marine terrace deformation, san diego county, California
Authors P.A. McCrory, K. R. Lajoie
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Tectonophysics
Index ID 70012481
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse