GEOPHYSICS Surface deformation associated with fractures near the 2019...

Xu, X., D. Sandwell, L. A. Ward, C. Milliner, and B. R. Smith-Konter (2020), GEOPHYSICS Surface deformation associated with fractures near the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, Res Earch, 370, 605-608.

Contemporary earthquake hazard models hinge on an understanding of how strain is distributed in the crust and the ability to precisely detect millimeter-scale deformation over broad regions of active faulting. Satellite radar observations revealed hundreds of previously unmapped linear strain concentrations (or fractures) surrounding the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence. We documented and analyzed displacements and widths of 169 of these fractures. Although most fractures are displaced in the direction of the prevailing tectonic stress (prograde), a large number of them are displaced in the opposite (retrograde) direction. We developed a model to explain the existence and behavior of these displacements. A major implication is that much of the prograde tectonic strain is accommodated by frictional slip on many preexisting faults.

Research Program: 
Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)
Funding Sources: 
NASA Earth Surface and Interior Program (80NSSC19K1043)