Magnitude of Shear Stress on the San Andreas Fault: Implications of a Stress Measurement Profile at Shallow Depth

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Science  26 Oct 1979:
Vol. 206, Issue 4417, pp. 445-447
DOI: 10.1126/science.206.4417.445


A profile of measurements of shear stress perpendicular to the San Andreas fault near Palmdale, California, shows a marked increase in stress with distance from the fault. The pattern suggests that shear stress on the fault increases slowly with depth and reaches a value on the order of the average stress released during earthquakes. This result has important implications for both long- and shortterm prediction of large earthquakes.