A joint inversion for two-dimensional P-wave velocity (Vp), P-to-S velocity ratio (Vp/Vs), and earthquake locations along the San Andreas fault (SAF) in central California reveals a complex relationship among seismicity, fault zone structure, and the surface fault trace. A zone of low Vp and high Vp/Vs lies beneath the SAF surface trace (SAFST), extending to a depth of about 6 km. Most of the seismic activity along the SAF occurs at depths of 3 to 7 km in a southwest-dipping zone that roughly intersects the SAFST, and lies near the southwest edge of the low Vp and high Vp/Vs zones. Tests indicate that models in which this seismic zone is significantly closer to vertical can be confidently rejected. A second high Vp/Vs zone extends to the northeast, apparently dipping beneath the Diablo Range. Another zone of seismicity underlies the northeast portion of this Vp/Vs high. The high Vp/Vs zones cut across areas of very different Vp values, indicating that the high Vp/Vs values are due to the presence of fluids, not just lithology. The close association between the zones of high Vp/Vs and seismicity suggests a direct involvement of fluids in the faulting process. Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional publication details
Two-dimensional seismic image of the San Andreas Fault in the Northern Gabilan Range, central California: Evidence for fluids in the fault zone