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Present-day pattern of Cordilleran deformation in the western United States

Bennett, R. A. and Davis, J. L. and Wernicke, B. P. (1999) Present-day pattern of Cordilleran deformation in the western United States. Geology, 27 (4). pp. 371-374. ISSN 0091-7613. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1999)027<0371:PDPOCD>2.3.CO;2.

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We present the first detailed geodetic image of the entire western United States south of lat 42°N, merging both campaign and continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) and very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) data sets in a combined solution for station velocities having a single, uniform reference frame. The results are consistent with a number of features previously observed through local geodetic studies and very sparse space geodetic studies, including a dominant pattern of right-lateral shear associated with the San Andreas fault, rates of the westernmost sites (along the California coast) of 46–48 mm/yr relative to a North America reference frame, and some 11–13 mm/yr of deformation accommodated east of the Sierra Nevada in the Basin and Range province north of lat 36°N. South of 36°N, the solution also shows that the southernmost San Andreas fault system accommodates effectively all interplate motion and that the southern Basin and Range is not deforming significantly. At lat 37°N, the eastern California shear zone appears to exhibit simple shear oriented between ∼N20°W and ∼N40°W relative to North America, with a fairly well defined transition zone from localized shear to diffuse spreading in the Basin and Range. Enigmatically, this transition involves a significant component of contraction normal to the overall shear-zone trend; sites in the Great Basin move southwestward at up to ∼5 mm/yr toward sites within the eastern California shear zone. To the north, in contrast, there appears to be a relatively smooth transition from east-west spreading within the eastern Great Basin to northwest-southeast shear across the westernmost Basin and Range.

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Wernicke, B. P.0000-0002-7659-8358
Additional Information:© 1999 Geological Society of America. Manuscript received September 25, 1998; Revised manuscript received December 21, 1998; Manuscript accepted January 7, 1999. We thank R. Bürgmann, P. Elósegui, E. Humphreys, and an anonymous referee for constructive reviews. We made extensive use of data products from the BARD, CORS, IGS, and SCIGN networks (see Table 1) provided by the SOPAC facility. We are particularly grateful to R. Reilinger for the STRC data, and to R. King and S. McClusky for the analyses of the STRC data. (These data are also part of the SCEC data set.) We thank the many individuals and institutions contributing to the establishment and day-to-day operation of all of the GPS networks that we used, including IGS, NOAA, the Canadian Geological Survey and Canadian Geodetic Survey, JPL, MIT, Caltech, the STRC consortium, the Yucca Mountain–Death Valley consortium, UNAVCO, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the USGS, the Seismological Laboratory of UC Berkeley, and Trimble Navigation, Inc. We also made use of VLBI data products (from terrestrial reference frame solution number 1083c) provided by the NASA GSFC. Topography data are from NOAA. Figures were created with the GMT software. This research was funded by National Science Foundation grants EAR 94-18784 and EAR 95-12212, Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants NRC-04-92-071 and NRC-02-93-005, the California Institute of Technology, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFEAR 94-18784
NSFEAR 95-12212
Nuclear Regulatory CommissionNRC-04-92-071
Nuclear Regulatory CommissionNRC-02-93-005
Smithsonian InstitutionUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140723-131153975
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Official Citation:R. A. Bennett, J. L. Davis, and B. P. Wernicke Present-day pattern of Cordilleran deformation in the western United States Geology, April, 1999, v. 27, p. 371-374, doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1999)027<0371:PDPOCD>2.3.CO;2
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47429
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Jul 2014 21:28
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:39

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