Three-dimensional lithospheric kinematics in the Loma Prieta region, California: implications for the earthquake cycle

K. P. Furlong, D. Verdonck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The earthquake has served as powerful motivation to improve our understanding of the kinematic and dynamic behavior of the boundary between the North American and Pacific plates in the San Francisco Bay region. This paper combines investigations of the plate-boundary evolution, the kinematics of crustal and lithospheric components of the system, and three-dimensional finite-element modeling of the deformational behavior of the region to evaluate the causality of the earthquake. The results indicate that the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake may represent decoupling of the Santa Cruz crustal block from its underlying mantle in response to stress accumulation after such events as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Inclusion of a middle- to lower-crustal detachment surface in the modeling significantly changes the crustal-stress regime in comparison with purely elastic crustal models, allows more efficient transfer of stress among the fault segments in the Loma Prieta region, and provides a mechanism to increase stress on the peninsular section of the San Andreas fault consistent with the occurrence of major earthquakes on that section. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-131
Number of pages29
JournalUS Geological Survey Professional Paper
Volume1550 F
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geology

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