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Abstract

Sea Beam provides a new tool for accurately mapping sea-floor morphology. Recent maps compiled from Sea Beam data collected in the California Continental Borderland show many sea-floor geomorphic features that are similar to tectonic landforms observed along subaerial fault zones. In particular, numerous features associated with recently active strike-slip faults have been mapped along the offshore San Clemente-San Isidro, San Diego Trough-Bahia Soledad, and Coronado Bank-Agua Blanca fault zones. Linear scarps, trenches and ridges, hillside benches and valleys, and small closed depressions are aligned along what are inferred to be active traces of these major offshore fault zones. Other nontectonic sea-floor geomorphic features observed include submarine canyons and channels; these may be truncated, offset, or deviated by tectonic movements in the area. Detailed study of such features may provide data necessary to determine the displacement and slip-rates on submarine faults.

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