Late Quaternary normal faulting of the Hat Creek basalt, northern California

Geological Society of America Bulletin
By: , and 


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The Hat Creek fault is a major, young, north-striking, normal fault along the western boundary of extensional Basin and Range deformation in the Lassen region of northeastern California. Volcanic rocks of Quaternary and late Pliocene age are displaced a total of >500 m down to the west along west-facing, en echelon scarps now retreated to ~35?? slopes. Fresh, young scarps as much as 30 m high cut the Hat Creek Basalt (erupted between 15 and ~40 ka) a few tens of meters west of the retreated scarps. Prior to the late 1980s, these young scarps were interpreted as lava slump scarps formed as the Hat Creek Basalt ponded against the older fault scarps and then drained away to the northwest. Numerous pieces of geologic evidence, however, show that the young scarps formed after the Hat Creek Basalt solidified and cooled and are true fault features formed by the youngest displacements of the Hat Creek fault. Displacement of outwash gravel overlying the Hat Creek Basalt shows that vertical separation on the Hat Creek fault has averaged ~1.3 mm yr -1 for the past 15 000 yr. The Hat Creek fault thus represents a potential earthquake hazard, despite the low level and diffuse nature of modern seismicity in the region. -from Authors

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Late Quaternary normal faulting of the Hat Creek basalt, northern California
Series title Geological Society of America Bulletin
Volume 106
Issue 2
Year Published 1994
Language English
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Geological Society of America Bulletin
First page 195
Last page 200