We use data from two seismic networks and satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) imagery to characterize the 22 December 2003 Mw 6.5 San Simeon earthquake sequence. Absolute locations for the mainshock and nearly 10,000 aftershocks were determined using a new three-dimensional (3D) seismic velocity model; relative locations were obtained using double difference. The mainshock location found using the 3D velocity model is 35.704° N, 121.096° W at a depth of 9.7±0.7 km. The aftershocks concentrate at the northwest and southeast parts of the aftershock zone, between the mapped traces of the Oceanic and Nacimiento fault zones. The northwest end of the mainshock rupture, as defined by the aftershocks, projects from the mainshock hypocenter to the surface a few kilometers west of the mapped trace of the Oceanic fault, near the Santa Lucia Range front and the >5 mm postseismic InSAR imagery contour. The Oceanic fault in this area, as mapped by Hall (1991), is therefore probably a second-order synthetic thrust or reverse fault that splays upward from the main seismogenic fault at depth. The southeast end of the rupture projects closer to the mapped Oceanic fault trace, suggesting much of the slip was along this fault, or at a minimum is accommodating much of the postseismic deformation. InSAR imagery shows ∼72 mm of postseismic uplift in the vicinity of maximum coseismic slip in the central section of the rupture, and ∼48 and ∼45 mm at the northwest and southeast end of the aftershock zone, respectively. From these observations, we model a ∼30-km-long northwest-trending northeast-dipping mainshock rupture surface—called the mainthrust—which is likely the Oceanic fault at depth, a ∼10-km-long southwest-dipping backthrust parallel to the mainthrust near the hypocenter, several smaller southwest-dipping structures in the southeast, and perhaps additional northeast-dipping or subvertical structures southeast of the mainshock plane. Discontinuous backthrust features opposite the mainthrust in the southeast part of the aftershock zone may offset the relic Nacimiento fault zone at depth. The InSAR data image surface deformation associated with both aseismic slip and aftershock production on the mainthrust and the backthrusts at the northwest and southeast ends of the aftershock zone. The well-defined mainthrust at the latitude of the epicenter and antithetic backthrust illuminated by the aftershock zone indicate uplift of the Santa Lucia Range as a popup block; aftershocks in the southeast part of the zone also indicate a popup block, but it is less well defined. The absence of backthrust features in the central part of the zone suggests range-front uplift by fault-propagation folding, or backthrusts in the central part were not activated during the mainshock.

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