Seismic constraints on the architecture of the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault: Implications for the length and magnitude of future earthquake ruptures

Track line map showing the location of seismic reflection profiles used in this study.

Track line map showing the location of seismic reflection profiles used in this study.

TitleSeismic constraints on the architecture of the Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon fault: Implications for the length and magnitude of future earthquake ruptures
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsSahakian V., Bormann J., Driscoll N., Harding A., Kent G., Wesnousky S.
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth
Volume122
Pagination2085-2105
Date Published2017/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-9313
Accession NumberWOS:000399660300029
Keywordsarchitecture; beach; changes; examples; fault; half-space; iterative inversion; multiple-scattering; Newport Inglewood; offshore faults; Rose Canyon; san-diego; Segmentation; southern california; step overs; stress; termination; zone
Abstract

The Newport-Inglewood/Rose Canyon (NIRC) fault zone is an active strike-slip fault system within the Pacific-North American plate boundary in Southern California, located in close proximity to populated regions of San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. Prior to this study, the NIRC fault zone's continuity and geometry were not well constrained. Nested marine seismic reflection data with different vertical resolutions are employed to characterize the offshore fault architecture. Four main fault strands are identified offshore, separated by three main stepovers along strike, all of which are 2km or less in width. Empirical studies of historical ruptures worldwide show that earthquakes have ruptured through stepovers with this offset. Models of Coulomb stress change along the fault zone are presented to examine the potential extent of future earthquake ruptures on the fault zone, which appear to be dependent on the location of rupture initiation and fault geometry at the stepovers. These modeling results show that the southernmost stepover between the La Jolla and Torrey Pines fault strands may act as an inhibitor to throughgoing rupture due to the stepover width and change in fault geometry across the stepover; however, these results still suggest that rupture along the entire fault zone is possible.

DOI10.1002/2016jb013467
Impact: 

This work highlights the contribution of offshore faults toward the combined seismic risk for Southern California. Further study is warranted to improve the current understanding of hazard and potential ground shaking posed to urban coastal areas from Tijuana to Los Angeles from the NIRC fault zone and other faults in the ICB.

Student Publication: 
No