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Global Positioning System constraints on fault slip rates in the Death Valley region, California and Nevada

Bennett, R. A. and Wernicke, B. P. and Davis, J. L. and Elósegui, P. and Snow, J. K. and Abolins, M. J. and House, M. A. and Stirewalt, G. L. (1997) Global Positioning System constraints on fault slip rates in the Death Valley region, California and Nevada. Geophysical Research Letters, 24 (23). pp. 3073-3076. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/97GL02951.

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We estimated horizontal velocities at 15 locations in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, from Global Positioning System surveys conducted between 1991 and 1996. We used these velocity estimates to infer slip rates on two major Quaternary faults within the eastern California shear zone (ECSZ), the Hunter Mountain and Death Valley faults. The sum of slip rates across the two faults is well determined at 5 ± 1 mm/yr (1-σ). Between 3 to 5 mm/yr of this motion appears to be accommodated along the Death Valley fault, implying 30–50 m of strain accumulation over the next 10,000 yr. If so, there is potential for 5 to 10 M_(w) 6.5–7.5 earthquakes during this period, a finding consistent with paleoseismological studies of the fault zone. Yucca Mountain, which lies 50 km east of the ECSZ, is the proposed location for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in the United States.

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Wernicke, B. P.0000-0002-7659-8358
Additional Information:© 1997 American Geophysical Union. Received April 14, 1997; revised September 29, 1997; accepted October 3, 1997. This work was supported by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Contracts NRC-04-92-071 and NRC-02-93-005, NSF Grant EAR-94-18784, and the Smithsonian Institution. The views and conclusions expressed in this paper do not represent an official regulatory position of the United States NRC. This manuscript benefited from careful reviews by E. Humphreys, R. Snay, and an anonymous referee, and useful discussions with J. Savage. Figures were created with the GMT software.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Nuclear Regulatory CommissionNRC-04-92-07
Nuclear Regulatory CommissionNRC-02-93-005
Smithsonian InstitutionUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:23
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140806-115552261
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ID Code:48085
Deposited On:06 Aug 2014 22:41
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:03

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