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Tectonic Inheritance With Dipping Faults and Deformation Fabric in the Brittle and Ductile Southern California Crust

Schulte-Pelkum, Vera and Ross, Zachary E. and Mueller, Karl and Ben‐Zion, Yehuda (2020) Tectonic Inheritance With Dipping Faults and Deformation Fabric in the Brittle and Ductile Southern California Crust. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 125 (8). Art. No. e2020JB019525. ISSN 2169-9313.

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Plate motions in Southern California have undergone a transition from compressional and extensional regimes to a dominantly strike‐slip regime in the Miocene. Strike‐slip motion is most easily accommodated on vertical faults, and major transform fault strands in the region are typically mapped as near vertical on the surface. However, some previous work suggests that these faults have a dipping geometry at depth. We analyze receiver function arrivals that vary harmonically with back azimuth at all available broadband stations in the region. The results show a dominant signal from contrasts in dipping foliation as well as dipping isotropic velocity contrasts from all crustal depths, including from the ductile middle to lower crust. We interpret these receiver function observations as a dipping fault‐parallel structural fabric that is pervasive throughout the region. The strike of these structures and fabrics is parallel to that of nearby fault surface traces. We also plot microseismicity on depth profiles perpendicular to major strike‐slip faults and find consistently NE dipping features in seismicity changing from near vertical (80–85°) on the Elsinore Fault in the Peninsular Ranges to 60–65° slightly further inland on the San Jacinto Fault to 50–55° on the San Andreas Fault. Taken together, the dipping features in seismicity and in rock fabric suggest that preexisting fabrics and faults may have acted as strain guides in the modern slip regime, with reactivation and growth of strike‐slip faults along northeast dipping fabrics both above and below the brittle‐ductile transition.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemSCSN catalog ItemQTM catalog Paper
Schulte-Pelkum, Vera0000-0002-6057-5637
Ross, Zachary E.0000-0002-6343-8400
Mueller, Karl0000-0002-3516-2259
Ben‐Zion, Yehuda0000-0002-9602-2014
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 28 July 2020; Version of Record online: 28 July 2020; Accepted manuscript online: 25 June 2020; Manuscript accepted: 22 June 2020; Manuscript revised: 02 June 2020; Manuscript received: 05 February 2020. IRIS Data Services are funded through the Seismological Facilities for the Advancement of Geoscience and EarthScope (SAGE) Proposal of the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Cooperative Agreement EAR‐1261681. The SCEDC and SCSN are funded through U.S. Geological Survey Grant G10 AP00091. This research was funded by NSF Grants EAR 1927246, 1735890, 1251193, and 1841315, and by Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) Grant 17097 (based on NSF Cooperative Agreement EAR‐0529922 and USGS Cooperative Agreement 07HQAG0008). We thank P. Share for extracting 3‐D velocity models, S. Marshall for providing fault summary data for the SCEC CFM‐5.2 fault model, K. Mahan and M. Frothingham for discussions, and C. Condit for a basic sketch used in Figure 8. Comments by Editor I. Manighetti and two anonymous reviewers helped improve the paper significantly. Data Availability Statement: The facilities of the Southern California Earthquake Data Center (SCEDC) and of the IRIS Data Services (IRIS Data Management Center) were used for access to waveforms and related metadata used in this study (,, and We used additional temporary network data from the LARSE ( and SSIP ( experiments. Data were retrieved via SOD (Owens et al., 2004). Seismicity catalogs are available at for the SCSN catalog and at for the QTM catalog.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
USGSG10 AP00091
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)17097
Subject Keywords:reactivation; receiver functions; anisotropy; seismicity; tectonics; inheritance
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200819-101227576
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Schulte‐Pelkum, V., Ross, Z. E., Mueller, K., & Ben‐Zion, Y. (2020). Tectonic inheritance with dipping faults and deformation fabric in the brittle and ductile Southern California crust. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125, e2020JB019525.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105024
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Aug 2020 17:23
Last Modified:02 Mar 2021 21:23

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