Abstract

If the San Andreas fault with about 300 km of right slip, the Carlock fault with about 60 km of left slip, and the Big Pine fault with about 15 km of left slip are considered to have been contemporaneously active, a space problem at their high-angle junctions becomes apparent. Large crustal masses converge in the area of the junctions as a result of the simultaneous large displacements on the faults. We present here a model in which an early straight north-northwest–trending San Andreas deforms to its present bent configuration in response to a westward displacement of crust north of the Garlock fault. During this deformation, the crust north of the Garlock in the vicinity of the junction undergoes north-south shortening, while the fault junction migrates along the trace of the San Andreas fault to the southeast relative to its original position. As a result of this migration, the Mojave area is displaced to the east relative to the original junction position. We suggest a similar history in mirror image for the Big Pine fault and the areas of crust adjacent to it.

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