Abstract

The fault history of the Mill Creek strand of the San Andreas fault (SAF) in the San Gorgonio Pass region, along with the reconstructed geomorphology surrounding this fault strand, reveals the important role of the left-lateral Pinto Mountain fault in the regional fault strand switching. The Mill Creek strand has 7.1–8.7 km total slip. Following this displacement, the Pinto Mountain fault offset the Mill Creek strand 1–1.25 km, as SAF slip transferred to the San Bernardino, Banning, and Garnet Hill strands. An alluvial complex within the Mission Creek watershed can be linked to palinspastic reconstruction of drainage segments to constrain slip history of the Mill Creek strand. We investigated surface remnants through detailed geologic mapping, morphometric and stratigraphic analysis, geochronology, and pedogenic analysis. The degree of soil development constrains the duration of surface stability when correlated to other regional, independently dated pedons. This correlation indicates that the oldest surfaces are significantly older than 500 ka. Luminescence dates of 106 ka and 95 ka from (respectively) 5 and 4 m beneath a younger fan surface are consistent with age estimates based on soil-profile development. Offset of the Mill Creek strand by the Pinto Mountain fault suggests a short-term slip rate of ∼10–12.5 mm/yr for the Pinto Mountain fault, and a lower long-term slip rate. Uplift of the Yucaipa Ridge block during the period of Mill Creek strand activity is consistent with thermochronologic modeled uplift estimates.

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