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Seismic cycle and rheological effects on estimation of present-day slip rates for the Agua Blanca and San Miguel-Vallecitos faults, northern Baja California, Mexico

Dixon, T.H., J. Decaix, F. Farina, K. Furlong, R. Malservisi, R. Bennett, F. Suarez-Vidal, J. Fletcher, and J. Lee (2002), Seismic cycle and rheological effects on estimation of present-day slip rates for the Agua Blanca and San Miguel-Vallecitos faults, northern Baja California, Mexico, J. Geophys. Res., 107(B10), doi:10.1029/2000JB000099.

Abstract
Geodesy can be used to infer long-term fault slip rates, assuming a model for crust and upper mantle rheology. We examine the sensitivity of fault slip rate estimates to assumed rheology for the Agua Blanca and San Miguel-Vallecitos faults in northern Baja California, Mexico, part of the Pacific-North America plate boundary zone. The Agua Blanca fault is seismically quiet, but offset alluvial fans indicate young activity. Current seismicity is confined to the nearby San Miguel-Vallecitos fault, a small offset fault better aligned with plate motion. GPS measurements between 1993 and 1998 suggest that both faults are active, with a combined slip rate of 4-8 mm yr(-1) regardless of rheological model. However, slip rate estimates for the individual faults are sensitive to assumed rheology. Elastic half-space models yield 2-3 mm yr(-1) for the Agua Blanca fault, and somewhat faster rates for the San Miguel-Vallecitos fault, 2-4 mm yr(-1), with uncertainties of about 1 mm yr(-1). Models incorporating viscoelastic rheology and seismic cycle effects suggest a faster slip rate for the Agua Blanca fault, 6 +/- 1 mm yr(-1), and a slower rate for the San Miguel-Vallecitos fault, 1 +/- 1 mm yr(-1), in better agreement with geological data, but these rates are sensitive to assumed rheology. Numerical simulations with a finite element model suggest that for similar rheological and friction conditions, slip on the San Miguel-Vallecitos fault should be favored due to better alignment with plate motion. Long-term faulting processes in the larger offset Agua Blanca fault may have lowered slip resistance, allowing accommodation of motion despite misalignment with plate motion.
Further information
BibTeX
@article{id390,
  author = {T.H. Dixon and J.  Decaix and F.  Farina and K.  Furlong and R. Malservisi and R.  Bennett and F. Suarez-Vidal and J.  Fletcher and J. Lee},
  journal = {J. Geophys. Res.},
  month = {oct},
  number = {B10},
  title = {{Seismic cycle and rheological effects on estimation of present-day slip rates for the Agua Blanca and San Miguel-Vallecitos faults, northern Baja California, Mexico}},
  volume = {107},
  year = {2002},
  url = {http://www.geophysik.uni-muenchen.de/~malservisi/papers/Dixonetal{\_}Baja{\_}2002.pdf},
  doi = {10.1029/2000JB000099},
}
EndNote
%0 Journal Article
%A Dixon, T.H. 
%A Decaix, J. 
%A Farina, F. 
%A Furlong, K. 
%A Malservisi, R.
%A Bennett, R. 
%A Suarez-Vidal, F.
%A Fletcher, J. 
%A Lee, J.
%D 2002
%N B10
%V 107
%J J. Geophys. Res.
%T Seismic cycle and rheological effects on estimation of present-day slip rates for the Agua Blanca and San Miguel-Vallecitos faults, northern Baja California, Mexico
%U http://www.geophysik.uni-muenchen.de/~malservisi/papers/Dixonetal_Baja_2002.pdf
%8 oct
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