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Published November 1955 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Geological effects of the Arvin-Tehachapi earthquake


The Arvin-Tehachapi earthquake of July 21, 1952, originated on the White Wolf fault. This fault runs from west of Wheeler Ridge to the vicinity of Harper Peak. The strike is roughly N 50° E; the length is at least 32 miles and it appears to be a steep reverse fault or a thrust. The overall movement seems to be oblique slip, up dip, with a left lateral component of motion. The vertical offset is greater than 10,000 feet. The geologic effects included landslides, rock falls, changes in ground water and stream flow, lurches and fault trace development. A series of ground ruptures extended intermittently along the length of the fault, except across the alluvium of the San Joaquin Valley, where lurching was developed. At the foot of Bear Mountain the traces were compressional, indicating thrusting of the southeastern block over the valley, coupled with a small component of right lateral movement. Near the White Wolf Ranch a left lateral tear fault crossed the upper and lower blocks of the White Wolf fault. To the northeast of this the fresh displacements on the White Wolf fault were primarily left lateral and tensional. There are, in places, minor exceptions to the general displacements and nearly all the traces are complicated by landsliding.

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