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The U.S. Geological Survey conducts repeated geodimeter surveys of trilateration networks in central California in order to study the processes of slip and strain accumulation along the San Andreas fault. The precision of distance measurement is described by a standard deviation ?? = (a2 + b2L2) 1 2 where a = 3mm, b = 2 ?? 10-7, and L is the line length. Within the precision of measurement, no anomalous strain episodes preceding earthquakes or even strain discontinuities at the time of earthquakes were detected from repeated measurements of lines near the epicenters of small (magnitude 4.5-5.1) earthquakes. Annual measurements of small (5-km aperture) strain polygons near the San Andreas fault have not proved strain accumulation in a 3-year period. Repeated measurements of longer lines over periods of 8 to 14 years indicate changes that cannot be attributed to fault slip and must represent strain accumulation at the level of a few parts in 107 per year. ?? 1974.
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Geodimeter measurements of slip and strain accumulation along the san andreas fault