Diffuse interseismic deformation across the Pacific-North America plate boundary

Shimon Wdowinski, Bridget Smith-Konter, Yehuda Bock, David Sandwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Crutal movements and deformation within the diffuse Pacific-North America (Pa-NA) plate boundary are dominated by the right-lateral motion between the two plates. By using the Pa-NA pole of rotation (PoR) spherical coordinate system, we decompose observed crustal movements into parallel and normal components to the Pa-NA plate motion. We transformed the 840 velocity vectors of the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) 3.0 velocity field into the Pa-NA PoR system in order to characterize the interseismic velocity across the plate boundary. Our results show that despite the very different deformation styles occurring across the San Andreas fault, the fault trace follows the half plate motion contour. Deviation occurs in the southern section, where the half motion contour correlates with the San Jacinto and Imperial fault segments. Our analysis yields interesting asymmetric patterns in both parallel and normal components. The parallel component shows asymmetrical velocity gradients across the San Andreas fault, and the normal component indicates compression southwest of the Big Bend, but not northeastward. The observations are compared with viscoelastic modeling results, which show a similar velocity field. The main disagreements between the observations and the model are in a narrow band along the San Andreas fault and in the Mojave block, suggesting that crustal heterogeneities and additional unmodeled fault segments should be considered in future models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-314
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

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Keywords

  • Crustal deformation
  • Deformation asymmetry
  • Plate motion
  • San Andreas fault
  • Viscoelastic model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

Wdowinski, S., Smith-Konter, B., Bock, Y., & Sandwell, D. (2007). Diffuse interseismic deformation across the Pacific-North America plate boundary. Geology, 35(4), 311-314. https://doi.org/10.1130/G22938A.1