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Brief Report for San Andreas fault zone, Coachella section (Class A) No. 1j

Partial Report ||Complete Report

Compiled in cooperation with the California Geological Survey

citation for this record: Bryant, W.A., and Lundberg, M.Matthew, compilers, 2002, Fault number 1j, San Andreas fault zone, Coachella section, in Quaternary fault and fold database of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey website, http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/hazards/qfaults, accessed 07/29/2014 06:42 AM.

Synopsis General: The 1,100-km-long San Andreas fault zone is the principal element of the San Andreas fault system, a network of faults with predominantly dextral strike-slip displacement that collectively accommodates the majority of relative N-S motion between the North American and Pacific plates. Major elements of the San Andreas fault system include the Bartlett Springs [29], Maacama [30], Rodgers Creek [32], Green Valley [37], Calaveras [54], Hayward [55], San Gregorio [60], San Jacinto [125], Elsinore [126], and Imperial [132] fault zones. In this compilation, the San Andreas fault zone is considered to be the Holocene and historically active dextral strike-slip fault that extends along most of coastal California from its complex junction with the Mendocino fault zone [18] on the north, southeast to the northern Transverse Range and inland to the Salton Sea, where a well-defined zone of seismicity (the Brawley Seismic Zone [124]) transfers slip to the Imperial fault [132] along a right-releasing step. Two major surface-rupturing earthquakes have occurred in historic time: the 1857 Fort Tejon (Sieh, 1978 #5775) and 1906 San Francisco (Lawson, 1908 #4969) earthquakes. Additional historic surface rupturing earthquakes include the unnamed 1812 earthquake along the Mojave section [1h] (Jacoby and others, 1988 #4962; Sieh and others, 1989 #5779; Fumal and others, 2002 #5726) and the northern part of the San Bernardino Mountains section [1i] (Weldon and Sieh, 1985 #5806; Jacoby and others, 1987 #4961; 1988 #4962), and a large earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area that occurred in 1838 that was probably on the Peninsula section [1c] of the San Andreas fault (Toppozada and Borchardt, 1998 #5493; Bakun, 1999 #4790). Historic fault creep at rates as high as 32 mm/yr characterizes the 132-km-long Creeping section [1e] in central California (Burford and Harsh, 1980 #4806). The creep rate gradually tapers off to 0 mm/yr at the northwestern and southeastern ends of this section. The northern and southern ends of the Creeping section [1e] are transitional to the surface-rupture termination points of the 1906 earthquake to the north and 1857 earthquake to the south. Creep at rates as high as 4 mm/yr also has been measured on the Coachella section [1j] (Sieh and Williams, 1990 #5780). The San Andreas fault zone is the most extensively studied fault in California, and perhaps in the world. The fault zone first gained international scientific attention immediately following the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Lawson's 1908 report summarizing the investigation of the 1906 earthquake contained the first integrated description of the San Andreas fault, which was recognized as extending from Point Delgada in the north to Whitewater Canyon southeast of San Bernardino in the south, and formed the underlying basis for our modern studies of paleoseismology and earthquake geology (Prentice, 1999 #5755). More than 5,000 articles, maps, and publications describing various aspects of the San Andreas fault that have been produced since Lawson's pioneering work. In addition, there are about 1,000 site-specific fault rupture investigation reports (and maps) filed with the California Geological Survey in compliance with the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act (Hart and Bryant, 1997 #4856). For this compilation, 43 detailed paleoseismic study sites along the fault zone are summarized. The fastest, generally accepted Holocene slip rate for the San Andreas fault is along the Cholame-Carrizo section [1g], which lies in the medial portion of the 1,100-km-long fault zone. Here, Sieh and Jahns (1984 #5778) reported a preferred late Holocene dextral slip rate of 33.9?2.9 mm/yr. In and south of the San Francisco Bay area, a significant portion of dextral slip is partitioned onto several faults of the San Andreas fault system, including the San Gregorio [60] on the west, and the Calaveras [54] and Hayward [55] faults on the east. Hall and others (1999 #4954) reported a late Holocene slip rate of 17?4 mm/yr for the Peninsula section [1c]. North of the Golden Gate, dextral slip from the San Gregorio fault zone [60] may be transferred to the North Coast section [1b] along a right-releasing step. Reported late Holocene slip rates for the North Coast section [1b] range from a minimum value of 16-18 mm/yr reported by Noller and others (1996 #5748) to a maximum value of 25.5?2.5 mm/yr reported by Prentice (1989 #5754). To the south, the San Andreas fault zone is delineated by an extremely complex zone of dextral strike-slip, reverse-oblique, and thrust faults in the southeastern Transverse Ranges. Fault nomenclature in the San Gorgonio Pass area is complex and different workers have assigned faults different names. West-northwest of San Gorgonio Pass Dibblee (1964 #1340; 1968 #4817; 1982 #4841) termed the principal active strand of the San Andreas fault located along the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains the South Branch San Andreas fault, which is referred to as the San Andreas fault by Allen (1957 #4787) and San Bernardino strand San Andreas fault by Matti and others (1992 #5735). For this compilation, this strand will be referred to as the San Andreas fault (South Branch). A fault that strikes sub-parallel located to the north was called the North Branch San Andreas fault by Dibblee (1964 #1340; 1968 #4817) and is referred to as the Mill Creek fault by Allen (1957 #4787), Matti and others (1992 #5735), and Jennings (1994 #2878). This strand will be referred to as the Mill Creek fault in this compilation. East-southeast of San Gorgonio Pass two principal dextral strike-slip faults comprise the Holocene active San Andreas fault zone. The southern trace has been referred to as the South Branch San Andreas fault by Dibblee (1967 #1345; 1981 #4840) and Jennings (1994 #2878); Matti and others (1992 #5735) refer to this trace as the Coachella Valley segment, Banning fault. This branch will be referred to as the South Branch San Andreas fault (Banning strand) in this compilation. The northern trace is referred to as the North Branch San Andreas fault by Dibblee (1967 #1345; 1981 #4840) and Jennings (1994 #2878); Mission Creek fault by Allen (1957 #4787); Matti and others (1992 #5735) named this trace the Coachella Valley segment, San Andreas fault and will be referred to as the North Branch San Andreas fault (Coachella strand) in this compilation. Refer to Matti and others (1992 #5735) for a detailed discussion of San Andreas fault nomenclature for the Mojave [1h], San Bernardino [1i], and Coachella [1j] sections. Weldon and Sieh (1985 #5806) reported a Holocene slip rate of 24?4 mm/yr at the northern end of the San Bernardino Mountains section [1i]. Harden and Matti (1989 #4955) reported a preferred Holocene slip rate of 14 mm/yr to 25 mm/yr near Yucaipa along the San Andreas fault (South Branch). Keller and others (1982 #4964) reported a preferred late Quaternary slip rate of 23 mm/yr to 35 mm/yr for the Coachella section [1j] near Biskra Palms. Surface-exposure age constraints (10Be-26Al) of the offset alluvial fan complex at Biskra Palms yields a better constrained late Quaternary dextral slip rate of 23.3?3.5 mm/yr (van der Woerd and others, 2001 #5800). Several average values of recurrence have been reported for the fault zone; in general they range from a little more than 100 to as much as 450 yr. The North Coast section [1b] ranges from 180-260 yr (Niemi and Hall, 1992 #5747) to 200-400 yr for the past 2 k.y. (Prentice, 1989 #5754). The Santa Cruz Mountains section [1d] is 247-266 yr (Schwartz and others, 1998 #5771) and the Cholame-Carrizo section [1g] is 160-450 yr (Sieh and Jahns, 1984 #5778; Grant and Sieh, 1994 #4950; Sims, 1994 #5787; Stone and others, 2002 #5792). Recurrence intervals for the Mojave section [1h] are well-constrained based on paleoseismic studies by Sieh and others (1989 #5779), Biasi and others (2002 #5724) and Fumal and others (1993 #624; 2002 #5725). Sieh and others (1989 #5779) reported an average recurrence interval of 132 yr for the time interval 734 A. D. to 1857 at Pallett Creek, whereas Biasi and others (2002 #5724) refined the average recurrence interval at 135 yr. Fumal and others (2002 #5725) reported an average recurrence interval of 105 yr for the past 500 yr at Wrightwood. An average recurrence interval of 150-275 yr has been reported for the northern San Bernardino Mountains section by Weldon and Sieh (1985 #5806), Seitz and Weldon (1994 #5772), and Yule and others (2001 #4948). The Coachella section [1j] averages large earthquakes about 207-233 yr based on Sieh (1986 #5777).

Sections: This fault has 10 sections. From north to south they are the Shelter Cove [1a], North Coast [1b], Peninsula [1c], Santa Cruz Mountains [1d], Creeping [1e], Parkfield [1f], Cholame-Carrizo [1g], Mojave [1h], San Bernardino Mountains [1i], and Coachella [1j] sections. Different behavior patterns along different parts of the San Andreas fault where first noticed when Steinbrugge and Zacher (1960 #5791) documented creep along the fault in central California. Since that time, other workers have proposed various segmentation models for the San Andreas fault including five segments by Allen (1968 #4788), eight segments by Wallace (1970 #1423), 12 segments by Sykes and Nishenko (1984 #5794), Petersen and others (1996 #4860), the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (1988 #5494; 1995 #4945; 1999 #4946), and the Working Group on Northern California Earthquake Probabilities (1996 #1216). Some segment boundaries are well documented or constrained for the San Andreas fault zone, whereas others are not. For this compilation, boundaries generally are similar to those described in models adopted by the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (1988 #5494; 1990 #549; 1995 #4945; 1999 #4946), the Working Group on Northern California Earthquake Probabilities (1996 #1216), and Petersen and others (1996 #4860).
County(s) and State(s) IMPERIAL COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Physiographic province(s) BASIN AND RANGE
Length (km) This section is 70 km of a total fault length of 1082 km.
Average strike N47°W (for section) versus (for whole fault)
Sense of movement Dextral
Dip Direction V
Historic earthquake
Most recent prehistoric deformation Latest Quaternary (<15 ka)
Slip-rate category Greater than 5.0 mm/yr
Date and Compiler(s) 2002
William A. Bryant, California Geological Survey
Matthew Lundberg, California Geological Survey