The San Francisco Bay area is crossed by several right-lateral strike-slip faults of the San Andreas fault zone. Fault-plane reflections reveal that two of these faults, the San Andreas and Hayward, dip toward each other below seismogenic depths at 60?? and 70??, respectively, and persist to the base of the crust. Previously, a horizontal detachment linking the two faults in the lower crust beneath San Francisco Bay was proposed. The only near-vertical-incidence reflection data available prior to the most recent experiment in 1997 were recorded parallel to the major fault structures. When the new reflection data recorded orthogonal to the faults are compared with the older data, the highest, amplitude reflections show clear variations in moveout with recording azimuth. In addition, reflection times consistently increase with distance from the faults. If the reflectors were horizontal, reflection moveout would be independent of azimuth, and reflection times would be independent of distance from the faults. The best-fit solution from three-dimensional traveltime modeling is a pair of high-angle dipping surfaces. The close correspondence of these dipping structures with the San Andreas and Hayward faults leads us to conclude that they are the faults beneath seismogenic depths. If the faults retain their observed dips, they would converge into a single zone in the upper mantle -45 km beneath the surface, although we can only observe them in the crust.
Additional publication details
Dipping San Andreas and Hayward faults revealed beneath San Francisco Bay, California