Overview of the Southern San Andreas Fault Model

Open-File Report 2007-1437-E

Prepared in cooperation with the California Geological Survey and the Southern California Earthquake Center
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This appendix summarizes the data and methodology used to generate the source model for the southern San Andreas fault. It is organized into three sections, 1) a section by section review of the geological data in the format of past Working Groups, 2) an overview of the rupture model, and 3) a manuscript by Biasi and Weldon (in review Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America) that describes the correlation methodology that was used to help develop the ?geologic insight? model. The goal of the Biasi and Weldon methodology is to quantify the insight that went into developing all A faults; as such it is in concept consistent with all other A faults but applied in a more quantitative way. The most rapidly slipping fault and the only known source of M~8 earthquakes in southern California is the San Andreas fault. As such it plays a special role in the seismic hazard of California, and has received special attention in the current Working Group. The underlying philosophy of the current Working Group is to model the recurrence behavior of large, rapidly slipping faults like the San Andreas from observed data on the size, distribution and timing of past earthquakes with as few assumptions about underlying recurrence behavior as possible. In addition, we wish to carry the uncertainties in the data and the range of reasonable extrapolations from the data to the final model. To accomplish this for the Southern San Andreas fault we have developed an objective method to combine all of the observations of size, timing, and distribution of past earthquakes into a comprehensive set of earthquake scenarios that each represent a possible history of earthquakes for the past ~1400 years. The scenarios are then ranked according to their overall consistency with the data and then the frequencies of all of the ruptures permitted by the current Working Group?s segmentation model are calculated. We also present 30-yr conditional probabilities by segment and compare to previous results. A distinctive aspect of the current model is that the probability is higher at both ends of the fault and that the ends have a much greater fraction of smaller events. There is a significant difference in the likelihood of large (M 7.7-8.0) earthquakes along the fault from north to south, with large 1857-like events common on the northern half of the southern San Andreas fault but relatively few M 7.7-8.0 expected on the southern half.

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Overview of the Southern San Andreas Fault Model
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Open-File Report
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Version 1.0
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Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
Earthquake Hazards Program
iii, 85 p.
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USGS Numbered Series