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Dynamics of Plate Boundary Fault Systems from Basin and Range Geodetic Network (BARGEN) and Geologic Data

Wernicke, Brian and Friedrich, Anke M. and Niemi, Nathan A. and Bennett, Richard A. and Davis, James L. (2000) Dynamics of Plate Boundary Fault Systems from Basin and Range Geodetic Network (BARGEN) and Geologic Data. GSA Today, 10 (11). pp. 1-7. ISSN 1052-5173.

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Continuously recorded Global Positioning System (GPS) data from the northern Basin and Range suggest that contemporary deformation is quite slow and broadly distributed, rather than being concentrated in the relatively narrow zones of historical earthquakes. Surprisingly, however, in north-central Nevada, the data indicate rapid, rangenormal crustal shortening at a rate of 2–3 mm/yr in an area where the geology indicates crustal extension via Holocene normal faulting. A possible explanation for the conflicting geodetic and geologic data is that the region of shortening represents the contractile side of a slowly east-propagating deformation pulse generated by the 1915 Pleasant Valley and 1954 Dixie Valley and Fairview Peak earthquakes. Such pulses, which are transient effects not recorded by faulting, are predicted by a broad class of physical models, but have only been observed within a few years after very large earthquakes, when the signal is much larger than the long-term deformation rate. The Basin and Range, and similar areas with a combination of low long-term deformation rates and large earthquakes, may therefore have the best potential by combining modern geologic and geodetic data to elucidate fault system behavior, in particular how transient effects from an earthquake on one fault may influence patterns of stress and seismic strain release on others. These types of data are essential in developing realistic models of seismic hazard, and in linking short–time scale observations with longer term geologic processes.

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Wernicke, Brian0000-0002-7659-8358
Additional Information:© 2000 Geological Society of America. Manuscript received July 4, 2000; accepted September 6, 2000. BARGEN research is conducted under the auspices of the National Science Foundation’s Continental Dynamics Program, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain Project, and NASA’s Solid Earth and Hazards Program, with design and maintenance assistance from the University Navstar Consortium (UNAVCO) Facility in Boulder, Colorado, the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Utah. We thank Gene Humphreys, Wayne Thatcher, and Karl Karlstrom for many useful suggestions on the manuscript.
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160708-143049038
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:68933
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Jul 2016 04:58
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 10:17

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