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Vertical crustal displacement due to interseismic deformation along the San Andreas fault: Constraints from tide gauges

TitleVertical crustal displacement due to interseismic deformation along the San Andreas fault: Constraints from tide gauges
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSmith-Konter B.R, Thornton G.M, Sandwell DT
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume41
Pagination3793-3801
Date Published2014/06
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000339280200016
Keywordsearthquake cycle; flow; ice sheets; lithosphere; mantle; model; sea-level rise; southern california; system; uplift
Abstract

Interseismic motion along complex strike-slip fault systems such as the San Andreas Fault System (SAFS) can produce vertical velocities that are similar to 10 times smaller than horizontal velocities, caused by along-strike variations in fault orientation and locking depth. Tide gauge stations provide a long (50-100 year) recording history of sea level change due to several oceanographic and geologic processes, including vertical earthquake cycle deformation. Here we compare relative sea level displacements with predictions from a 3-D elastic/viscoelastic earthquake cycle model of the SAFS. We find that models with lithospheric structure reflecting a thick elastic plate (> 50km) and moderate viscosities produce vertical motions in surprisingly good agreement with the relative tide gauge uplift rates. These results suggest that sea level variations along the California coastline contain a small but identifiable tectonic signal reflecting the flexure of the elastic plate caused by bending moments applied at the ends of locked faults.

DOI10.1002/2014gl060091
Student Publication: 
No