Abstract

Repeated (1934, 1956, and 1974) geodetic surveys across Owens Valley near the site of the 1872 earthquake indicate right-lateral deformation at the rate of 4 ± 1 mm/yr and possible extension across the valley at the rate of 1 ± 1 mm/yr. Repeated level surveys across the valley indicate a down-to-the-east tilt of about 0.22 ± 0.04 µradians/yr for the western block with a hinge line near the rupture trace of the 1872 earthquake. This tilt is equivalent to an uplift of the west edge of the valley of 2.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr (i.e., base of the Sierra Nevada scarp) relative to the center of the valley. Although the measured deformations are scarcely above survey noise, they all indicate an accumulation of strain which would be consistent with a repeat of the 1872 earthquake (normal, right-lateral oblique slip).

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