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Strain accumulation along the San Andreas fault system East of San Francisco Bay, California

January 1, 1983

The occurrence of several large earthquakes to the east of San Francisco Bay during historical times, and present high levels of microseismicity, indicate that a significant part of the relative plate motion may be occurring east of San Francisco Bay. Furthermore, the Hayward fault is known to be slipping aseismically at the surface, and the Calaveras fault may be slipping aseismically also. These facts raise an important question: Is the observed creep rate accommodating all of the east bay deformation or is there a significant amount of strain accumulating along these faults? Several small survey networks (< 2 km diameter) located along the Hayward and Calaveras faults, have been measured occasionally since 1965. Recent observations of these and other networks have been made by the U.S. Geological Survey. These observations imply a surface slip rate on the Hayward fault at Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, and Richmond of about 6 mm/yr. On the Calaveras fault, north of the Hayward-Calaveras fault junction, surface slip rates have been determined from only four data sets. Three of which give a rate of 3 mm/yr. The U.S. Geological Survey annually measures 32 longer lines (10-30 km) in the east bay. Observations of these lines extend back to 1977 for most and to 1970 for some of the lines. The observed creep rates and the data for the longer east-bay lines provide constraints on the amount and position of deeper slip on the Hayward and Calaveras faults. After correcting for line-length changes due to fault slip, we calculated the strain accumulation rate. The shear strain rate parallel to east bay faults is 0.07 ?? 0.02 ??strain/yr, a rate well below that of other areas along the San Andreas fault system, suggesting that creep is relieving a large part of the strain in this area. ?? 1983.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1983
Title Strain accumulation along the San Andreas fault system East of San Francisco Bay, California
DOI
Authors W. H. Prescott, M. Lisowski
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Tectonophysics
Series Number
Index ID 70011225
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization