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Earthquake swarms and local crustal spreading along major strike-slip faults in California

Abstract

Earthquake swarms in California are often localized to areas within dextral offsets in the linear trend in active fault strands, suggesting a relation between earthquake swarms and local crustal spreading. Local crustal spereading is required by the geometry of dextral offsets when, as in the San Andreas system, faults have dominantly strike-slip motion with right-lateral displacement. Three clear examples of this relation occur in the Imperial Valley, Coso Hot Springs, and the Danville region, all in California. The first two of these areas are known for their Holocene volcanism and geothermal potential, which is consistent with crustal spreading and magmatic intrusion. The third example, however, shows no evidence for volcanism or geothermal activity at the surface.

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Weaver, C.S., Hill, D.P. Earthquake swarms and local crustal spreading along major strike-slip faults in California. PAGEOPH 117, 51–64 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00879733

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Key words

  • Strike-slip faults
  • Crustal spreading centers
  • Fault plane solutions
  • Stress directions
  • Brawley and Coso Hot Springs geothermal areas (USA)