Structure of the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon and Palos Verdes Fault Zones and Implications for Current Fault Models

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Valerie J Sahakian1,2, Jayne M Bormann3, Shannon Klotsko1,2, James J Holmes1, Neal W Driscoll1,2, Alistair J Harding1,2, Graham Kent3 and Steven G Wesnousky3, (1)University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States, (2)Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States, (3)University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV, United States
Faulting in the Inner California Borderlands is complex. In the past, this region has undergone various deformational events such as extensional and rotational deformation to variable strike-slip deformation; this has imparted the geomorphology and fault structures observed offshore Southern California. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the current fault structures and the hazards they pose to populated coastal regions. The geometry and architecture of these structures can have significant implications for ground motions in the event of a rupture, and therefore impact working models of hazard assessment. Here, focusing on the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon (NI/RC) and Palos Verdes (PV) fault zones, we use new and existing multibeam, CHIRP and Multi-Channel Seismic (MCS) data to describe the geometry of the fault system. We interpret reprocessed (prestack time migration) MCS data collected in 1979, 1986, and 2006 as well as newly acquired high-res MCS datasets collected offshore San Diego County. Combining these high and intermediate resolution datasets with very high resolution CHIRP data, we define structures that show distinct changes in the style of deformation through time, and place constraints on the segmentation of faults in this system.

The timing of the most recent deformation on the NI/RC appears to vary along-strike. Likewise, the NI/RC fault’s dip direction and angle appears to vary along-strike, and these changes in dip seem to mark the boundaries of restraining and releasing bends. Additionally, the NI/RC fault appears to die away to the north, possibly partitioning its strain on to the PV fault. We will present interpretations of the faults’ current deformational activity as well as likelihood of rupture propagating across releasing/restraining bends, and discuss how this impacts current fault models that are employed for hazard assessment for Los Angeles and San Diego counties.