Acceleration and evolution of faults: An example from the Hunter Mountain-Panamint Valley fault zone, Eastern California

Noel Gourmelen, Timothy H. Dixon, Falk Amelung, Gina Schmalzle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present new space geodetic data indicating that the present slip rate on the Hunter Mountain-Panamint Valley fault zone in Eastern California (5.0 ± 0.5 mm/yr) is significantly faster than geologic estimates based on fault total offset and inception time. We interpret this discrepancy as evidence for an accelerating fault and propose a new model for fault initiation and evolution. In this model, fault slip rate initially increases with time; hence geologic estimates averaged over the early stages of the fault's activity will tend to underestimate the present-day rate. The model is based on geologic data (total offset and fault initiation time) and geodetic data (present day slip rate). The model assumes a monotonic increase in slip rate with time as the fault matures and straightens. The rate increase follows a simple Rayleigh cumulative distribution. Integrating the rate-time path from fault inception to present-day gives the total fault offset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume301
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 3 2011

Keywords

  • Eastern California Shear Zone
  • Fault evolution
  • Geodesy
  • Hunter Mountain Fault
  • InSAR
  • Rock mechanics
  • Western United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Acceleration and evolution of faults: An example from the Hunter Mountain-Panamint Valley fault zone, Eastern California'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this