Considering fault interaction in estimates of absolute stress along faults in the San Gorgonio Pass region, southern California

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Jennifer Beyer, Michele Lynn Cooke, Aviel Stern, roby douilly, david oglesby


Present-day shear tractions along faults of the San Gorgonio Pass region can be estimated from stressing rates provided by three-dimensional forward crustal deformation models. Modeled dextral shear stressing rates on the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults differ from rates resolved from the regional loading due to fault interaction. In particular, fault patches with similar orientations and depths on the two faults show different stressing rates. We estimate the present-day, evolved fault tractions along faults of the San Gorgonio Pass region using the time since last earthquake, fault stressing rates (which account for fault interaction), and co-seismic models of the impact of recent nearby earthquakes. The evolved tractions differ significantly from the resolved regional tractions, with the largest dextral traction located within the restraining bend comprising the pass, which has not had recent earthquakes, rather than outside of the bend, which is more preferentially oriented under tectonic loading. Evolved fault tractions can provide more accurate initial conditions for dynamic rupture models within regions of complex fault geometry, such as the San Gorgonio Pass region. An analysis of the time needed to accumulate shear tractions that exceed typical earthquake stress drops shows that present-day tractions already exceed 3 MPa along portions of the Banning, Garnet Hill, and Mission Creek strands of the San Andreas fault. This result highlights areas that may be near failure if accumulated tractions equivalent to typical earthquake stress drops precipitate failure.



Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Tectonics and Structure


3D numerical models, southern California active tectonics, stress on faults


Published: 2019-07-23 08:25

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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