Strain accumulation across the central Nevada seismic zone, 1973–1994

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
By: , and 



Five trilateration networks extending for 280 km along the central Nevada seismic zone (1915 Pleasant Valley, M = 7.3; 1954 Dixie Valley, M = 6.8; 1954 Stillwater, M = 6.8; 1954 Rainbow Mountain, M = 6.6; 1954 Fairview Peak, M = 7.1; and 1932 Cedar Mountain, M = 7.2) have been surveyed 6 times since 1973 to determine deformation along the zone. Within the precision of measurement the deformation appears uniform along the zone and is described by the principal strain rates 0.036±0.008 μstrain/yr N60°W±3° and −0.031±0.008 μstrain/yr N30°E±3°, extension reckoned positive. The observed strain rates are consistent with simple, right‐lateral, tensor shear at the rate of 0.033 μstrain/yr across a shear zone striking N15°W. This central Nevada shear zone appears to be the northward continuation of the eastern California shear zone. The orientation of the strike‐slip and normal‐slip ruptures within the central Nevada seismic zone are consistent with principal stress axes parallel to the measured principal strain rate axes. Space‐based geodetic measurements (very long baseline interferometry) indicate that the relative motion accommodated across the Basin and Range province west of Ely, Nevada, is about 9.1±1.5 mm/yr N16°W±8° (Dixon et al., 1995.) Notice that the right‐lateral shear zone postulated to explain deformation in the central Nevada seismic zone is properly oriented to accommodate that relative motion. However, a 135‐km effective width of the shear zone would be required to accommodate all of the 9.1 mm/yr relative motion at the strain rates observed in the Nevada seismic zone; only about 3 mm/yr of that relative motion is accommodated within the span of the trilateration networks.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Strain accumulation across the central Nevada seismic zone, 1973–1994
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/95JB01872
Volume 100
Issue B10
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 20257
Last page 20269
Country United States
State California, Nevada
Other Geospatial Central Nevada seismic zone
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