High GeologicSlip Rates since Early Pleistocene Initiation of the San Jacinto and San FelipeFault Zones in the San Andreas Fault System

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Geological Society of America Special Paper




Geological Society of America

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The San Jacinto right-lateral strike-slip fault zone is crucial for understanding plate-boundary dynamics, regional slip partitioning, and seismic hazards within the San Andreas fault system of southern California, yet its age of initiation and long-term average slip rate are controversial. This synthesis of prior and new detailed studies in the western Salton Trough documents initiation of structural segments of the San Jacinto fault zone at or slightly before the 1.07-Ma base of the Jaramillo subchron. The dextral faults changed again after ca. 0.5–0.6 Ma with creation of new fault segments and folds. There were major and widespread basinal changes in the early Pleistocene when these new faults cut across the older West Salton detachment fault. We mapped and analyzed the complex fault mesh, identified structural segment boundaries along the Clark, Coyote Creek, and San Felipe fault zones, documented linkages between the major dextral faults, identified previously unknown active strands of the Coyote Creek fault 5 and 8 km NE and SW of its central strands, and showed that prior analyses of these fault zones oversimplify their complexity. The Clark fault is a zone of widely distributed faulting and folding SE of the Santa Rosa Mountains and unequivocally continues 20–25 km SE of its previously inferred termination point to the San Felipe Hills. There the Clark fault zone has been deforming basinal deposits at an average dextral slip rate of ≥10.2 +6.9/−3.3 mm/yr for ~0.5–0.6 m.y.

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