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Steep-Dip Seismic Imaging of the Shallow San Andreas Fault Near Parkfield

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Science  16 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5546, pp. 1513-1515
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065100

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Abstract

Seismic reflection and refraction images illuminate the San Andreas Fault to a depth of 1 kilometer. The prestack depth-migrated reflection image contains near-vertical reflections aligned with the active fault trace. The fault is vertical in the upper 0.5 kilometer, then dips about 70° to the southwest to at least 1 kilometer subsurface. This dip reconciles the difference between the computed locations of earthquakes and the surface fault trace. The seismic velocity cross section shows strong lateral variations. Relatively low velocity (10 to 30%), high electrical conductivity, and low density indicate a 1-kilometer-wide vertical wedge of porous sediment or fractured rock immediately southwest of the active fault trace.

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