Strain pattern represented by scarps formed during the earthquakes of October 2, 1915, Pleasant Valley, Nevada




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The pattern of scarps developed during the earthquakes of October 2, 1915, in Pleasant Valley, Nevada, may have formed as a result of a modern stress system acting on a set of fractures produced by an earlier stress system which was oriented differently. Four major scarps developed in a right-stepping, en-echelon pattern suggestive of left-lateral slip across the zone and an extension axis oriented approximately S85??W. The trend of the zone is N25??E. However, the orientation of simple dip-slip on most segments trending approximately N20-40?? E and a right-lateral component of displacement on several N- and NW-trending segments of the scarps indicate that the axis of regional extension was oriented between N50?? and 70?? W, normal to the zone. The cumulative length of the scarps is 60 km, average vertical displacement 2 m, and the maximum vertical displacement near the Pearce School site 5.8 m. Almost everywhere the 1915 scarps formed along an older scarp line, and in some places older scarps represent multiple previous events. The most recent displacement event prior to 1915 is interpreted to have occurred more than 6600 years ago, but possibly less than 20,000 years ago. Some faults expressed by older scarps that trend northwest were not reactivated in 1915, possibly because they are oriented at a low angle with respect to the axis of modern regional extension. The 1915 event occurred in an area of overlap of three regional fault trends oriented northwest, north, and northeast and referred to, respectively, as the Oregon-Nevada, Northwest Nevada, and Midas-Battle Moutain trends. Each of these trends may have developed at a different time; the Oregon-Nevada trend was possibly the earliest and developed in Late Miocene time (Stewart et al. 1975). Segments of the 1915 scarps are parallel to each of these trends, suggesting influence by older sets of fractures. ?? 1979.

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Strain pattern represented by scarps formed during the earthquakes of October 2, 1915, Pleasant Valley, Nevada
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