Abstract

We develop a crustal deformation model to determine fault‐slip rates for the western United States (WUS) using the Zeng and Shen (2014) method that is based on a combined inversion of Global Positioning System (GPS) velocities and geological slip‐rate constraints. The model consists of six blocks with boundaries aligned along major faults in California and the Cascadia subduction zone, which are represented as buried dislocations in the Earth. Faults distributed within blocks have their geometrical structure and locking depths specified by the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, version 3 (UCERF3) and the 2008 U.S. Geological Survey National Seismic Hazard Map Project model. Faults slip beneath a predefined locking depth, except for a few segments where shallow creep is allowed. The slip rates are estimated using a least‐squares inversion. The model resolution analysis shows that the resulting model is influenced heavily by geologic input, which fits the UCERF3 geologic bounds on California B faults and ±one‐half of the geologic slip rates for most other WUS faults. The modeled slip rates for the WUS faults are consistent with the observed GPS velocity field. Our fit to these velocities is measured in terms of a normalized chi‐square, which is 6.5. This updated model fits the data better than most other geodetic‐based inversion models. Major discrepancies between well‐resolved GPS inversion rates and geologic‐consensus rates occur along some of the northern California A faults, the Mojave to San Bernardino segments of the San Andreas fault, the western Garlock fault, the southern segment of the Wasatch fault, and other faults. Off‐fault strain‐rate distributions are consistent with regional tectonics, with a total off‐fault moment rate of 7.2×1018 and 8.5×1018  N·m/year for California and the WUS outside California, respectively.

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