Abstract

Sedimentary deformation caused by liquefaction has become a popular means for inferring prehistoric strong earthquakes. In this report, we describe a new mechanism for generating such features in the absence of earthquakes. Sand boils and a 180-m-long sand dike formed in Fremont Valley, California, when sediment-laden surface runoff was intercepted along the upslope part of a 500-m-long preexisting ground crack, flowed subhorizonally in the crack, and then flowed upward in the downslope part of the crack where it discharged as sand boils on the land surface. If the sand boils and their feeder dike were stratigraphically preserved, they could be misinterpreted as evidence for earthquake-induced liquefaction.

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