Re-measuring the Slip Rate of the San Andreas Fault at Wallace Creek in the Carrizo Plain, CA
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Sieh and Jahns (S&J) (1984) reported a slip rate of 33.9 +2.9 mm/yr for the San Andreas fault (SAF) at Wallace Creek (WC) in the Carrizo Plain. Referenced hundreds of times, their measurement provides critical constraint for many related studies. Paleoseismologic studies at Bidart Fan (BF), ~5 km southeast of WC, show rupture approximately every 88 yrs between ~A.D. 1350 and 1857 (Akciz et al., 2010). Measurements of slip per event for the last 5 or 6 earthquakes at WC (Liu et al., 2004; Liu-Zeng et al., 2006), when combined with rupture dates from BF, yield slip rates up to 50 mm/yr, well above widely accepted values of ~ 35 mm/yr. The apparent discrepancy between slip rates and slip per event measurements provided motivation to re-measure S&J’s (1984) slip rate, which was based on 8 detrital charcoal samples, by collecting samples for radiocarbon dating with new methods that have improved dramatically since the early 1980s. We re-excavated S&J’s (1984) original trenches WC-2, 7, 9, 10 and 11, and placed a new trench, WC-12. The new trench exposed a rich history of channel cut and fill prior to abandonment of the beheaded channel and incision of the modern channel. The youngest channel fills, which must be slightly younger than the abandonment, indicate that sedimentation occurred between 3675-3285 BP, after which the channel was fully abandoned. Using S&J’s (1984) offset measurement of 130 m since ~3400 BP, we recalculate a late Holocene slip rate of ~38 mm/yr in our preliminary analysis. This rate is slightly higher than the S&J (1984) result of 33.9±2.9 mm/yr and Noriega et al. (2006) result of 32.4±3.1 mm/yr at the Van Matre Ranch in the southern Carrizo. Our results are closer to the higher end of the ~36±2 mm/yr velocity gradient across the SAF from decadal timescale geodetic measurements (Schmalzle, et al., 2006).