Refined kinematics of the Eastern California shear zone from GPS observations, 1993-1998

PANGA M. Meghan Miller1, Daniel J. Johnson1, Timothy H.Dixon2, and Roy K. Dokka3


Global Positioning System (GPS) results from networks spanning the Eastern California shear zone and adjacent Sierra Nevada block, occupied annually between 1993 and 1998, constrain plate margin kinematics. We use an elastic block model to relate GPS station velocities to long-term fault slip rate estimates. The model accounts for elastic strain accumulation on the San Andreas fault, as well as faults of the Eastern California shear zone. South of the Garlock fault, 14 mm/yr of dextral shear is distributed across the Eastern California shear zone. Some of this slip appears to die out in contraction across the Garlock fault, and a collective budget of 12.5 mm/yr is observed to the north at the latitude of Owens Lake. Model slip rates for two important faults, the Garlock and Owens Valley faults, significantly misfit geologic estimates. By referencing station velocities to stable North America we observe northward-increasing deformation east of our regional GPS network. At the latitude of Mojave Desert, however, some of this deformation is ascribed to elastic strain accumulation due to a locked San Andreas fault and thus does not represent additional fault-related, permanent deformation.

1Department of Geological Sciences, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington

2 Division of Marine Geology and Geophysics, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami, Miami, Florida

3Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Journal of Geophysical Research, V. 106, P. 2245-2264, 2001
(267 K)