US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 17, NO. 9, PAGES 1417-1420A, UGUST 1990


Hypocenters of the Loma Prieta sequence form a dipping zone that rises from the mainshock hypocenter and is parallel to the mainshock nodal plane. Most aftershocks cluster around the perimeter of the zone, surrounding a relatively aseismic center which approximates the region of mainshock rapture. At its southeastern end, the dipping aftershock zone warps into a vertical surface that corresponds to the San Andreas fault. In the central and northwestern parts of the zone at depths above -10 km, the aftershocks define numerous disjoint fault structures. The large component of reverse-slip observed in this event agrees with a simple model for slip on a dipping plane within a compressional fault bend. We do not believe that the Loma Prieta earthquake occurred on the Sargent fault. However, we are unable to conclude whether it ruptured the principal plate boundary fault or a less frequently active fault.