Abstract

Tomographic inversion of P-wave arrival times from aftershocks of 1992 southern California earthquakes is used to produce three dimensional images of subsurface velocity. The preliminary 1992 data set, augmented by the 1986 M 5.9 North Palm Springs sequence, consists of 6458 high-quality events recorded by the permanent regional network—providing 76306 raypaths for inversion. The target area consisted of a 104 x 104 x 32 km3 volume divided into 52 x 52 x 10 rectilinear blocks. Significant velocity perturbations appear to correlate with rupture properties of recent major earthquakes. Preliminary results indicate that a low-velocity anomaly separates the dynamic rupture of the M 6.5 Big Bear event from the M 7.4 Landers main shock; a similar low-velocity region separates the M 6.1 Joshua Tree sequence from the Landers rupture.High-velocity anomalies occur at or near nucleation sites of all four recent main shocks (North Palm Springs-Joshua Tree-LandersBig Bear). A high-velocity anomaly is present along the San Andreas fault between 5 and 12 km depth through San Gorgonio Pass; this high-velocity area may define an asperity where stress is concentrated and where future large earthquakes may begin.

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