Earthquake Potential Along the Northern Hayward Fault, California

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Science  18 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5482, pp. 1178-1182
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5482.1178

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The Hayward fault slips in large earthquakes and by aseismic creep observed along its surface trace. Dislocation models of the surface deformation adjacent to the Hayward fault measured with the global positioning system and interferometric synthetic aperture radar favor creep at ∼7 millimeters per year to the bottom of the seismogenic zone along a ∼20-kilometer-long northern fault segment. Microearthquakes with the same waveform repeatedly occur at 4- to 10-kilometer depths and indicate deep creep at 5 to 7 millimeters per year. The difference between current creep rates and the long-term slip rate of ∼10 millimeters per year can be reconciled in a mechanical model of a freely slipping northern Hayward fault adjacent to the locked 1868 earthquake rupture, which broke the southern 40 to 50 kilometers of the fault. The potential for a major independent earthquake of the northern Hayward fault might be less than previously thought.

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