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Analysis of stress orientation data from earthquake focal plane mechanisms adjacent to the San Andreas fault in the San Francisco Bay area and throughout southern California indicates that the San Andreas fault has low frictional strength. In both regions, available stress orientation data indicate low levels of shear stress on planes parallel to the San Andreas fault. In the San Francisco Bay area, focal plane mechanisms from within 5 km of the San Andreas and Calaveras fault zones indicate a direction of maximum horizontal compression nearly orthogonal to both subvertical, right-lateral strikeslip faults, a result consistent with those obtained...

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