The rate of dilatation and the rate and direction of shear have been determined from trilateration data for 23 Geodolite networks in the western United States. Sixteen nets are located along the San Andreas fault system between Point Reyes, California, and the United States‐Mexico border. Other locations are across the Garlock fault in California; across Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington; near Hanford in eastern Washington; near Hebgen Lake in Montana; across the Wasatch fault at Ogden, Utah; across the Rio Grande rift at Socorro, New Mexico; and Dixie Valley in Nevada; and at the northern end of Owens Valley on the California‐Nevada border. Implicit in the treatment are the assumptions that the strain was accumulating at a constant rate over the time period (within the interval 1970–1978) and over the local area (usually about 50‐km diameter) covered by the surveys. Of the nets located away from the San Andreas fault, only Ogden and Hebgen show significant strain accumulation. At Ogden the deformation is principally an east‐west compression of 0.23±0.05 μstrain/yr and at Hebgen Lake a northeast‐southwest extension of 0.17±0.03 μstrain/yr. Along the San Andreas fault system the rate of shear is 0.2 to 0.4μ/yr. The direction of shear agrees very well with the surface strike of nearby faults. This agreement is maintained even in regions like the ‘big bend,’ where both the fault strike and the observed shear direction are more westerly than they are elsewhere. Shear strain in northern California appears to be concentrated more closely on the faults, whereas in southern California the strain is a broader, smoother feature. In the San Francisco Bay area the strain data indicate slip at depth on both the San Andreas and the Calaveras faults. In addition to the observed shear the nets in California indicate a negative dilatation (areal decrease) of about 0.2 μstrain/yr. This dilatation is unexplained, but the following sources appear unlikely: (1) systematic survey error, (2) an association with the southern California uplift, (3) an association with the big bend in the San Andreas fault in Southern California, or (4) the result of the superposition of a uniaxial strain on the Pacific‐North American plate boundary shear.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Strain accumulation rates in the western United States between 1970 and 1978|
|Series title||Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|
|Contributing office(s)||Earthquake Science Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|