Late Quaternary slip rates on the Sierra Madre fault zone and paleoseismic evidence on the size and frequency of past ruptures
Published:May 18, 2020
R. Burgette*, K. Scharer*, S. Lindvall*, 2020. "Late Quaternary slip rates on the Sierra Madre fault zone and paleoseismic evidence on the size and frequency of past ruptures", From the Islands to the Mountains: A 2020 View of Geologic Excursions in Southern California, Richard V. Heermance, Joshua J. Schwartz
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The Sierra Madre fault zone is a south-vergent, active reverse fault that accommodates shortening between basins on the northern margin of the Los Angeles region and the San Gabriel Mountains. The preservation of late Quaternary alluvial fill and fan surfaces in the hanging wall of the fault provides evidence of long-term uplift. Surface rupture from the 1971 Mw 6.6 San Fernando earthquake and evidence of large prehistoric displacements from trenching investigations emphasize the ongoing hazard posed by the fault system to the region. This one-day field trip visits some of the key locations near Pasadena and San Fernando, California, where slip rates have been determined from cosmogenic and luminescence dating of abandoned surfaces dating to 50–70, ca. 30, and ca. 12 ka and surface offsets measured from lidar and pre-development topographic maps. Another stop is the site of a paleoseismic trench, which provided key evidence on the timing and displacement of past ruptures on the fault. In combination, results from these field investigations converge on a slip rate for the eastern ~100 km of the fault zone of 1–2 mm/yr, which matches or exceeds the rates for other reverse faults in southern California. This rate, in combination with trenching data that show no evidence of post–mid Holocene ruptures along the central and eastern portions of the fault, indicate the fault zone poses a significant seismic hazard to the region.
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From the Islands to the Mountains: A 2020 View of Geologic Excursions in Southern California
This volume includes five geologic field-trip guides in the Los Angeles region associated with the 2020 GSA Cordilleran Section Meeting that was scheduled for May 2020, in Pasadena, California. The guides are organized in a generally counterclockwise order around the Los Angeles Basin. The first guide by Burgette et al. provides new slip rates, age constraints, and observations of the active Sierra Madre fault zone that borders the northern side of the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys. The Nourse et al. guide takes a new look at the San Gabriel Mountains from a basement and geomorphologic perspective. Further west, Keller et al. provide one of the first published field-trip guides focused on the 9 January 2018 Montecito debris flows that caused 23 deaths. The volume then moves south to Santa Cruz Island, where Davis et al. provide an updated review of the island’s geology within the California borderlands. The final guide returns to the east, where Platt et al. present the unique geology of Santa Catalina Island with a focus on the subduction-related Catalina Schist.