Geodetic observations using the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other techniques record a high rate of north-south shortening in an east-southeast–trending, 5–40-km-wide belt in northern metropolitan Los Angeles, California. Downtown Los Angeles is observed to be converging upon the southern San Gabriel Mountains at 6 mm/yr. Aside from the elastic strain that will be released during earthquakes rupturing the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults, east-west lengthening across northern metropolitan Los Angeles is minor, <2.5 mm/yr. Therefore north-south shortening is accommodated mainly by vertical crustal thickening.

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