Vertical crustal movements preceding and accompanying the San Fernando earthquake of February 9, 1971: A summary

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Comparative elevations referred chiefly to a tidal bench mark with a history of relatively positive movement show that much of the Transverse Ranges of southern California sustained major changes in elevation both before and in association with the ML 6.4 San Fernando earthquake of February 9, 1971. Preseismic changes in elevation in the southern Transverse Ranges were almost uniformly positive and generally episodic. Maximum uplift measured between 1960/61 and 1968/69 was 0.205 m (observed) or 0.200 m (adjusted); it occurred about 30 km northeast of the 1971 epicenter. As much as 0.129 m (observed) of preseismic uplift was also measured about 30 km northwest of the epicenter between 1964 and 1968. A comparison between 1968 and 1969 elevation data revealed 0.078 m (observed) of differential uplift centered about 10 km west of the epicenter; earlier leveling indicates that this uplift began between February 1967 and May 1968. Changes in elevation measured during the interval 1968/69-71 (postearthquake) are interpreted as chiefly coseismic and were concentrated along a 15-km ruptured segment of the east-trending, north-dipping San Fernando fault. These changes were characterized by subsidence of as much as 0.111 m (observed) or 0.092 m (adjusted) south of the fault and a ridge of uplift of up to at least 2.195 m (observed) or 2.196 m (adjusted) immediately north of the fault.

The more episodic preseismic movements are interpretable as deep-seated creep events on the San Fernando fault. Alternatively, these episodic movements may be due partly to the operation of dilatancy; the onset of the 196849 epicentral uplift accords closely with the initiation of a Vp/Vs anomaly recognized in this same area. The 1968/69-71 elevation changes can be attributed almost entirely to slip on the San Fernando fault.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Vertical crustal movements preceding and accompanying the San Fernando earthquake of February 9, 1971: A summary
Series title Tectonophysics
DOI 10.1016/0040-1951(75)90138-9
Volume 29
Issue 1-4
Year Published 1975
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Description 14 p.
First page 127
Last page 140
Country United States
State California
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