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The western segment of the Castle Mountain fault poses a significant seismic hazard to the most populated region of south-central Alaska. We identify a previously unrecognized margin of a postglacial outwash channel that is offset right laterally 36 ± 4 m across the western segment of the Castle Mountain fault. This offset occurred after glaciers withdrew from the lowland 11,300–15,380 cal yr b.p. and after outwash channel margins were cut and stabilized 11,210–13,470 cal yr b.p. Using these ages and the measured separation, we obtain a maximum slip rate of 3.0 ± 0.6 mm yr−1 and a minimum slip rate of 2.8 ± 0.7 mm yr−1. These are the first lateral slip rates for the Castle Mountain fault established by a field measurement....
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We analyze strong-motion recordings of the Ms 6.6 Superstition Hills earthquake to determine the timing, location, spatial extent, and rupture velocity of the subevents that produced the bulk of the high-frequency (0.5 to 4 Hz) seismic energy radiated by this shock. The earthquake can be characterized by three principal subevents, the largest ones occurring about 3 and 10 sec after initiation of rupture. Timing relationships between pulses on the seismograms indicate that the three subevents are located within 8 km of each other along the northern portion of the Superstition Hills fault. The two largest subevents display different directivity effects. We apply a tomographic source inversion to the integrated accelerograms...
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The 3 November 2002 Denali fault, Alaska, earthquake resulted in 341 km of surface rupture on the Susitna Glacier, Denali, and Totschunda faults. The rupture proceeded from west to east and began with a 48-km-long break on the previously unknown Susitna Glacier thrust fault. Slip on this thrust averaged about 4 m (Crone et al., 2004). Next came the principal surface break, along 226 km of the Denali fault, with average right-lateral offsets of 4.5–5.1 m and a maximum offset of 8.8 m near its eastern end. The Denali fault trace is commonly left stepping and north side up. About 99 km of the fault ruptured through glacier ice, where the trace orientation was commonly influenced by local ice fabric. Finally, slip transferred...
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We describe a methodology for generating kinematic earthquake ruptures for use in 3D ground‐motion simulations over the 0–5 Hz frequency band. Our approach begins by specifying a spatially random slip distribution that has a roughly wavenumber‐squared fall‐off. Given a hypocenter, the rupture speed is specified to average about 75%–80% of the local shear wavespeed and the prescribed slip‐rate function has a Kostrov‐like shape with a fault‐averaged rise time that scales self‐similarly with the seismic moment. Both the rupture time and rise time include significant local perturbations across the fault surface specified by spatially random fields that are partially correlated with the underlying slip distribution....
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The Landers earthquake (MW 7.3) of 28 June 1992 had a very emergent onset. The first large amplitude arrivals are delayed by about 3 sec with respect to the origin time, and are preceded by smaller-scale slip. Other large earthquakes have been observed to have similar emergent onsets, but the Landers event is one of the first to be well recorded on nearby stations. We used these recordings to investigate the spatial relationship between the hypocenter and the onset of the large energy release, and to determine the slip function of the 3-sec nucleation process. Relative location of the onset of the large energy release with respect to the initial hypocenter indicates its source was between 1 and 4 km north of the...
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Models of P- and S-wave velocity, Vp/Vs ratios, Poisson's ratios, and density for the crust and upper mantle are presented along a 400-km-long profile trending from Memphis, Tennessee, to St. Louis, Missouri. The profile crosses the New Madrid seismic zone and reveals distinct regional variations in the crustal velocity structure north and south of the latitude of New Madrid. In the south near Memphis, the upper few kilometers of the crust are dominated by upper crustal sedimentary basins or graben with P-wave velocities less than 5 km/sec and S-wave velocities of about 2 km/sec. P-wave velocities of the upper and middle crust range from 6.0 to 6.5 km/sec at depths above 25 km, and corresponding S-wave velocities...
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Long Valley caldera lies within a left-stepping offset in the north-northwest-striking Sierra Nevada range-front normal faults with the Hilton Creek fault to the south and Hartley Springs fault to the north. Both Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF) 2 and its update, UCERF3, depict slip on these major range-front normal faults as extending well into the caldera, with significant normal slip on overlapping, subparallel segments separated by ∼10  km. This depiction is countered by (1) geologic evidence that normal faulting within the caldera consists of a series of graben structures associated with postcaldera magmatism (intrusion and tumescence) and not systematic down-to-the-east displacements...
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We have developed an approach to test the viability of dynamic strains as a triggering mechanism by quantifying the dynamic strain tensor at seismogenic depths. We focus on the dynamic strains at the hypocenter of the Ms = 5.4 Little Skull Mountain (LSM), Nevada, earthquake. This event is noteworthy because it is the largest earthquake demonstrably triggered at remote distances (∼280 km) by the Ms = 7.4 Landers, California, earthquake and because of its ambiguous association with magmatic activity. Our analysis shows that, if dynamic strains initiate remote triggering, the orientation and modes of faulting most favorable for being triggered by a given strain transient change with depth. The geometry of the most...
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The 2008 Wells, NV earthquake represents the largest domestic event in the conterminous U.S. outside of California since the October 1983 Borah Peak earthquake in southern Idaho. We present an improved catalog, magnitude complete to 1.6, of the foreshock-aftershock sequence, supplementing the current U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Preliminary Determination of Epicenters (PDE) catalog with 1,928 well-located events. In order to create this catalog, both subspace and kurtosis detectors are used to obtain an initial set of earthquakes and associated locations. The latter are then calibrated through the implementation of the hypocentroidal decomposition method and relocated using the BayesLoc relocation technique. We...
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Published geologic information from the central and eastern United States identifies 83 faults, groups of sand blows, named seismic zones, and other geological features as known or suspected products of Quaternary tectonic faulting. About one fifth of the features are known to contain faulted Quaternary materials or seismically induced liquefaction phenomena, but the origin and associated seismic hazard of most of the other features remain uncertain. Most of the features are in or near large urban areas. The largest cluster of features is in the Boston-Washington urban corridor (2005 estimated population: 50 million). The proximity of most features to populous areas identifies paleoseismic targets with potential...
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Recent observations have shown that shear waves trapped within low-velocity fault zones may be the most sensitive measure of fault-zone structure (Li et al., 1994a, 1994b). Finite-difference simulations demonstrate the effects of several types of complexity on observations of fault-zone trapped waves. Overlying sediments with a thickness more than one or two fault-zone widths and fault-zone step-overs more than one or two fault widths disrupt the wave guide. Fault kinks and changes in fault-zone width with depth leave readily observable trapped waves. We also demonstrate the effects of decreased trapped wave excitation with increasing hypocentral offset from the fault and the effects of varying the contrast between...
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Using a magnitude (M)-log area (A) dataset augmented with seven large (M > 7.0) earthquakes occurring since Wells and Coppersmith (1994), this short note assesses the current validity of the bilinear M-log A relations for continental, strike-slip earthquakes proposed by Hanks and Bakun (2002), in particular the L-model scaling at M > 7. The relations determined by Hanks and Bakun (2002) are only insignificantly altered, leaving these bilinear M-log A relations as valid now as when first proposed.
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We estimate locations and moment magnitudes M and their uncertainties for the three largest events in the 1811-1812 sequence near New Madrid, Missouri, and for the 1 September 1886 event near Charleston, South Carolina. The intensity magnitude M1, our preferred estimate of M, is 7.6 for the 16 December 1811 event that occurred in the New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ) on the Bootheel lineament or on the Blytheville seismic zone. M1, is 7.5 for the 23 January 1812 event for a location on the New Madrid north zone of the NMSZ and 7.8 for the 7 February 1812 event that occurred on the Reelfoot blind thrust of the NMSZ. Our preferred locations for these events are located on those NMSZ segments preferred by Johnston and...
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In the classic microseismic band of 5-20 sec, seismic noise consists mainly of fundamental mode Rayleigh and Love waves; however, at shorter periods seismic noise also contains a significant amount of body-wave energy and higher mode surface waves. In this study we perform a global survey of Earth's short-period seismic noise field with the goal of quantifying the relative contributions of these propagation modes. We examined a year's worth of vertical component data from 18 seismic arrays of the International Monitoring System that were sited in a variety of geologic environments. The apertures of the arrays varied from 2 to 28 km, constraining the periods we analyzed to 0.25-2.5 sec. Using frequency-wavenumber...
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Crustal-scale seismic-velocity models across the Denali fault zone along the Richardson Highway show a 50-km-thick crust, a near vertical fault trace, and a 5-km-wide damage zone associated with the fault near Trans-Alaska Pipeline Pump Station 10, which provided the closest strong ground motion recordings of the 2002 Denali fault earthquake. We compare models, derived from seismic reflection and refraction surveys acquired in 1986 and 1987, to laboratory measurements of seismic velocities for typical metamorphic rocks exposed along the profiles. Our model for the 1986 seismic reflection profile indicates a 5-km-wide low-velocity zone in the upper 1 km of the Denali fault zone, which we interpret as fault gouge....
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The extent to which faults exhibit temporally varying slip rates has important consequences for models of fault mechanics and probabilistic seismic hazard. Here, we explore the temporal behavior of the dextral‐slip Warm Springs Valley fault system, which is part of a network of closely spaced (10–20 km) faults in the northern Walker Lane (California–Nevada border). We develop a late Quaternary slip record for the fault using Quaternary mapping and high‐resolution topographic data from airborne Light Distance and Ranging (LiDAR). The faulted Fort Sage alluvial fan (40.06° N, 119.99° W) is dextrally displaced 98+42/-43 m, and we estimate the age of the alluvial fan to be 41.4+10.0/-4.8 to 55.7±9.2  ka, based on a...
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The Genoa fault, a principal normal fault of the transition zone between the Basin and Range Province and the northern Sierra Nevada, displays a large and conspicuous prehistoric scarp. Three trenches excavated across this scarp exposed two large-displacement, late Holocene events. Two of the trenches contained multiple layers of stratified charcoal, yielding radiocarbon ages suggesting the most recent and penultimate events on the main part of the fault occurred 500-600 cal B.P., and 2000-2200 cal B.P., respectively. Normal-slip offsets of 3-5.5 m per event along much of the rupture length are comparable to the largest historical Basin and Range Province earthquakes, suggesting these paleoearthquakes were on the...
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The University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS) earthquake catalogs for the Utah and Yellowstone National Park regions contain two types of size measurements: local magnitude (ML) and coda magnitude (MC), which is calibrated against ML. From 1962 through 1993, UUSS calculated ML values for southern and central Intermountain Seismic Belt earthquakes using maximum peak-to-peak (p-p) amplitudes on paper records from one to five Wood-Anderson (W-A) seismographs in Utah. For ML determinations of earthquakes since 1994, UUSS has utilized synthetic W-A seismograms from U.S. National Seismic Network and UUSS broadband digital telemetry stations in the region, which numbered 23 by the end of our study period on 30 June...
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An important element of probabilistic seismic-hazard analysis (PSHA) is the incorporation of ground-motion uncertainty from the earthquake sources. The standard normal variate ϵ measures the difference between any specified spectral-acceleration level, or SA0, and the estimated median spectral acceleration from each probabilistic source. In this article, mean and modal values of ϵ for a specified SA0 are defined and computed from all sources considered in the USGS 1996 PSHA maps. Contour maps of ϵ are presented for the conterminous United States for 1-, 0.3-, and 0.2-sec SA0 and for peak horizontal acceleration, PGA0 corresponding to a 2% probability of exceedance (PE) in 50 yr, or mean annual rate of exceedance,...
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We analyzed spectra of local microearthquakes recorded by the Anza, California, seismic network to isolate the effects of site response and to investigate the scaling of source parameters for small earthquakes. Spectra of microearthquakes (M < 2; Mo< 1019 dyne-cm) at Anza have shapes characteristic of the receiver sites and are generally independent of the source region. Thus, the site response is a major conditioner of the observed spectral shape. To remove the effects of site response from the spectra of a M ∼ 3 event and isolate its source spectrum, we divided by the spectra of an adjacent aftershock used as an empirical Green's function event. The spectral ratios indicate that the apparent corner frequencies...


map background search result map search result map Late quaternary slip-rate variations along the Warm Springs Valley fault system, northern Walker Lane, California-Nevada border Late quaternary slip-rate variations along the Warm Springs Valley fault system, northern Walker Lane, California-Nevada border