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Slip-rate increase at Parkfield in 1993 detected by high-precision EDM and borehole tensor strainmeters

Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract

On two of the instrument networks at Parkfield, California, the two-color Electronic Distance Meter (EDM) network and Borehole Tensor Strainmeter (BTSM) network, we have detected a rate change starting in 1993 that has persisted at least 5 years. These and other instruments capable of measuring crustal deformation were installed at Parkfield in anticipation of a moderate, M6, earthquake on the San Andreas fault. Many of these instruments have been in operation since the mid 1980s and have established an excellent baseline to judge changes in rate of deformation and the coherence of such changes between instruments. The onset of the observed rate change corresponds in time to two other changes at Parkfield. From late 1992 through late 1994, the Parkfield region had an increase in number of M4 to M5 earthquakes relative to the preceding 6 years. The deformation-rate change also coincides with the end of a 7-year period of sub-normal rainfall. Both the spatial coherence of the rate change and hydrological modeling suggest a tectonic explanation for the rate change. From these observations, we infer that the rate of slip increased over the period 1993-1998.On two of the instrument networks at Parkfield, California, the two-color Electronic Distance Meter (EDM) network and Borehole Tensor Strainmeter (BTSM) network, we have detected a rate change starting in 1993 that has persisted at least 5 years. These and other instruments capable of measuring crustal deformation were installed at Parkfield in anticipation of a moderate, M6, earthquake on the San Andreas fault. Many of these instruments have been in operation since the mid 1980s and have established an excellent baseline to judge changes in rate of deformation and the coherence of such changes between instruments. The onset of the observed rate change corresponds in time to two other changes at Parkfield. From late 1992 through late 1994, the Parkfield region had an increase in number of M4 to M5 earthquakes relative to the preceding 6 years. The deformation-rate change also coincides with the end of a 7-year period of sub-normal rainfall. Both the spatial coherence of the rate change and hydrological modeling suggest a tectonic explanation for the rate change. From these observations, we infer that the rate of slip increased over the period 1993-1998.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Slip-rate increase at Parkfield in 1993 detected by high-precision EDM and borehole tensor strainmeters
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
26
Issue:
16
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Publisher location:
Washington, DC, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
First page:
2529
Last page:
2532
Number of Pages:
4