Abstract

This report examines the Hector Mine and Landers earthquakes in the broader context of faults and fault-related basins of the eastern California shear zone (ECSZ). We compile new estimates of total strike-slip offset (horizontal separation) at nearly 30 fault sites based on offset magnetic anomaly pairs. We also present a map of the depth to pre-Cenozoic basement rock (thickness of basin-filling late Cenozoic deposits) for the region, based on an inversion of gravity and geologic data.

Our estimates of total long-term strike-slip offsets on faults that slipped during the 1999 Hector Mine (3.4 km), and the 1992 Landers earthquakes (3.1? to 4.6 km) fall within the 3- to 5-km range of total strike-slip offset proposed for most faults of the western ECSZ. Faults having offsets as great as 20 km are present in the eastern part of the ECSZ. Although the Landers rupture followed sections of a number of faults that had been mapped as independent structures, the similarity in total strike-slip offset associated with these faults is compatible with one of the following hypotheses: (1) the Landers multistrand rupture is a typical event for this linked fault system or (2) this complex rupture path has acted as a coherent entity when viewed over some characteristic multiearthquake cycle. The second hypothesis implies that, for each cycle, slip associated with smaller earthquakes on individual fault segments integrates to a uniform slip over the length of the linked faults.

With one exception, the region surrounding the Hector Mine and Landers ruptures is devoid of deep late Cenozoic basins. In particular, no deep basins are found immediately north of the Pinto Mountain fault, a place where a number of kinematic models for development of the ECSZ have predicted basins. In contrast, some basins exist near Barstow and along the eastern part of the ECSZ, where the model of Dokka et al. (1998) predicts basins.

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