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The Hosgri fault zone (HFZ) is the name given to the southern section of the major coastal fault in central California. The Hosgri separates Transverse Range structure from offshore Santa Maria Basin structure and is a key element for any tectonic model that includes this economically significant region. Previous published maps have not adequately defined the southern termination of the HFZ, the style of faulting on the HFZ, and the relation of the HFZ to surrounding structures. Using more than 1,500 mi of processed seismic reflection data, we have mapped upper Miocene and Pliocene structure in the region of the HFZ offshore from Point Sal in the north, to Point Conception in the south where the HFZ ends against east-west structures in the westernmost Santa Barbara Channel. In the same area, east-west-trending structures in the western Transverse Ranges north of the channel abut against the HFZ.

The HFZ is an oblique right-slip fault along most of its length, but significant changes in the style of faulting are associated with variations in fault trend. North of Point Arguello, the HFZ appears to dip at a high angle in the upper 2,000 m of section and is distinguishable from thrust and reverse faults developed to its west. Between Point Arguello and Point Conception it may be a northeast-dipping thrust. Along its mapped length, east-side-up vertical separation is typical and may be more than 400 m on a Pliocene unconformity. Older horizons show more separation; the lower Miocene is up on the east by almost 1 km off Purisima Point. However, individual en echelon segments of the fault show west-side-up vertical separation where expected in an oblique right-slip fault system. No piercing points were found to define strike separation. Pliocene drag folds indicate dextral slip in Pliocene and later time.

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