Reports

Strain on the San Andreas Fault Near Palmdale, California: Rapid, Aseismic Change

Science  02 Jan 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4477, pp. 56-58
DOI: 10.1126/science.211.4477.56

Abstract

Frequently repeated strain measurements near Palmdale, California, during the period from 1971 through 1980 indicate that, in addition to a uniform accumulation of right-lateral shear strain (engineering shear, 0.35 microradian per year) across the San Andreas fault, a 1-microstrain contraction perpendicular to the fault that accumulated gradually during the interval 1974 through 1978 was aseismically released between February and November 1979. Subsequently (November 1979 to March 1980), about half of the contraction was recovered. This sequence of strain changes can be explained in terms of south-southwestward migration of a slip event consisting of the south-southwestward movement of the upper crust on a horizontal detachment surface at a depth of 10 to 30 kilometers. The large strain change in 1979 corresponds to the passage of the slip event beneath the San Andreas fault.

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