Abstract

Recent studies in southern California suggest that long-term deformation rates are far in excess of that which can be accounted for by historical seismicity, and thus, a deficit of moderate and/or large earthquakes exists in southern California. Although possible, this conclusion is not unique because aseismic deformation may have contributed to bulk regional strain. We examined Cretaceous to Pleistocene sedimentary rocks exposed in the Ventura basin along four cross-strike traverses to evaluate the possibility that aseismic deformation contributed to regional shortening. Our field and microstructural investigations suggest that aseismic deformational mechanisms, particularly pressure solution, contributed significantly to permanent shortening strain during the late Neogene and that the proposed seismic deficiency may be overestimated.

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