US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 95, NO. B2, PAGES 1139-1153, FEBRUARY 10, 1990


In the region of the Los Padres-Tehachapi geodetic network, the San Andreas fault (SAF) changes its orientation by over 30 ° from N40 °W, close to that predicted by plate motion for a transform boundary, to N73 °W. The strain orientation near the SAF is consistent with right-lateral shear along the fault, with maximum shear rate of 0.38 ± 0.01 μrad/yr at N63 °W. In contrast, away from the SAF the strain orientations on both sides of the fault are consistent with the plate motion direction, with maximum shear rate of 0.19 ± 0.01 μrad/yr at N44 °W. The strain rate does not drop off rapidly away from the fault, and thus the area is fit by either a broad shear zone below the SAF or a single fault with a relatively deep locking depth. The fit to the line length data is poor for locking depth d less than 25 km. For d of 25 km a buried slip rate of 30 ± 6 mm/yr is estimated. We also estimated buried slip for models that included the Garlock and Big Pine faults, in addition to the SAF. Slip rates on other faults are poorly constrained by the Los Padres-Tehachapi network. The best fitting Garlock fault model had computed left-lateral slip rate of 11 ± 2 mm/yr below 10 km. Buried left-lateral slip of 15 ± 6 mm/yr on the Big Pine fault, within the Western Transverse Ranges, provides significant reduction in line length residuals; however, deformation there may be more complicated than a single vertical fault. A subhorizontal detachment on the southern side of the SAF cannot be well constrained by these data. We investigated the location of the SAF and found that a vertical fault below the surface trace fits the data much better than either a dipping fault or a fault zone located south of the surface trace.