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Measured crustal deformation in Imperial Valley, California

January 1, 1979

Precise geodetic surveys since 1972 indicate that significant vertical deformation of the land surface continues in Imperial Valley, California. Measured vertical changes as great as 3-5 cm per year indicate that two types of tectonic movement are occurring: (1) a downward regional tilt of the valley surface from the Mexican border northward toward Salton Sea, and (2) a deepening of the structural trough presently occupied by Salton Sea. A comparison of 1972ndash;1977 change contours with 1927 topographic contours shows gross parallelism, suggesting that the recent deformation is a continuation of the tectonism that formed the Salton trough. Ground movement since 1972 has tended to steepen slightly the gradients of streams, canals, and drains on the valley floor and to increase the capacity of Salton Sea. A usable record of eight years of background measurements of tectonic change are available prior to the impact of geothermal production in Imperial Valley. ?? 1979.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1979
Title Measured crustal deformation in Imperial Valley, California
DOI 10.1016/0375-6505(79)90050-6
Authors B. E. Lofgren
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geothermics
Series Number
Index ID 70012509
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization