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Seismotectonics of southern California

Hutton, L. Katherine and Jones, Lucille and Hauksson, Egill and Given, Douglas D. (1991) Seismotectonics of southern California. In: Neotectonics of North America. Geological Society of America , Boulder, CO, pp. 133-152. ISBN 9780813753065.

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Southern California straddles the boundary between the North American and the Pacific plates. The relative motion between these two plates has been determined from paleomagnetic lineations in the Gulf of California, from global solutions to known slip rates along plate boundaries, from geology, and from geodesy (Minster and Jordan, 1978; Minster and Jordan, 1978; DeMets and others, 1987) to be primarily horizontal at a rate of about 48 mm/yr (DeMets and others, 1987). This results in one of the highest levels of seismicity in the conterminous United States (e.g., Evernden, 1970). In southern California, the deformation is spread over a large area, encompassing numerous normal, strike-slip, and reverse faults. A majority of the plate motion appears to be accommodated by the San Andreas fault, with the rest distributed among the dozen or so other major faults (Weldon and Humphreys, 1986). This is in contrast to the plate boundary in northern California, where the plate motion is more concentrated near the San Andreas fault than it is in southern California (e.g., Hill and others, this volume). The diffuse deformational pattern leads to the high level of seismic activity and to a complicated tectonic structure.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Jones, Lucille0000-0002-2690-3051
Hauksson, Egill0000-0002-6834-5051
Additional Information:© 1991 Geological Society of America.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180719-141906842
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:88012
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Jul 2018 16:46
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:22

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