Abstract

Alignment arrays and creepmeters spanning several faults in southern California recorded slip associated with the 24 November 1987 Elmore Ranch and Superstition Hills earthquakes. No precursory slip had occurred on the Superstition Hills fault up to 27 October 1987, when the last measurement before the earthquakes was made. About 23 days before the earthquake, dextral creep events of about 13 mm and 0.5 mm may have occurred simultaneously on the Imperial and southern San Andreas faults, respectively, but the tectonic origin of the smaller event is questionable.

Within 12 hr after the Superstition Hills earthquake, 20.9 cm of dextral slip occurred on the main fault trace at the Superstition Hills alignment array, and 39.8 cm of dextral slip was recorded over the entire 110-m width of the array. Despite this initial wide distribution of slip, nearly all of the postseismic slip is occurring on the main fault trace. As of 3 August 1988, the alignment array had recorded a total of 80.2 cm of dextral slip. As of 5 days after the earthquakes, 65 to 80 per cent of the total slip measured by the alignment array had occurred on discrete, mappable fractures.

In addition, the two earthquakes triggered slip on the Coyote Creek fault, the southern San Andreas fault, and on the Imperial fault. Telemetered data from creepmeters on the southern San Andreas and Imperial faults indicate that triggered slip began there within 3 min or less of each of the two earthquakes. Additional triggered slip occurred on the Imperial fault beginning 3.5 hr after the second earthquake.

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