The Nature of the Landers-Mojave Earthquake Line

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Science  09 Jul 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5118, pp. 201-203
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5118.201


The Landers, California, earthquake of 28 June 1992 (magnitude = 7.3) is the latest of six significant earthquakes in the past 60 years whose epicenters and slip directions define a 100-kilometer alignment running approximately N15°W across the central Mojave region. This pattern may indicate a geologically young throughgoing fault that replaces numerous older strike-slip faults by obliquely cutting across them. These older faults, and perhaps also the bend in the San Andreas fault, may be losing their ability to accommodate upper crustal deformation because they have become unfavorably oriented with respect to the regional stress field.