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Ground-squirrel mounds and related patterned ground along the San Andreas Fault in Central California

Open-File Report 91-149

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Abstract

Extensive areas of mound topography and related patterned ground, apparently derived from the mounds of the California Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi beecheyi), are in central California.  The relation of patterned ground to the San Andreas fault west of Bakersfield may provide insight into the timing of deformation along the fault as well as the history of ground squirrels.  Mound topography appears to have evolved through several stages from scattered mounds currently being constructed on newly deposited alluvial surfaces, to saturation of areas by mounds, followed by coalescence, elongation and lineation of the mounds.  Elongation, coalescence and modification of the mounds has been primarily by wind, but to a lesser extent by drainage and solifluction.  A time frame including ages of 4,000, 10,500, 29,000, and 73,000 years BP is derived by relating the patterns to slip on the San Andreas fault.  Further relating of the patterns to faulting, tilting, and warping may illuminate details of the rates and history of deformation.  Similarly, relating the patterns to the history of ground squirrel activity may help answer such problems as rates of dispersal and limits on population density.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Ground-squirrel mounds and related patterned ground along the San Andreas Fault in Central California
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
91-149
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1991
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
25 p. :ill. ;28 cm.
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
N