In southern California, where fast slip rates and sparse vegetation contribute to crisp expression of faults and microtopography, field and high‐resolution topographic data (<1  m/pixel) increasingly are used to investigate the mark left by large earthquakes on the landscape (e.g., Zielke et al., 2010; Zielke et al., 2012; Salisbury, Rockwell, et al., 2012, Madden et al., 2013). These studies measure offset streams or other geomorphic features along a stretch of a fault, analyze the offset values for concentrations or trends along strike, and infer that the common magnitudes reflect successive surface‐rupturing earthquakes...

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