The study of fault zones is a critical component to understanding earthquake mechanics and seismic hazard evaluations. Models or simulations of potential earthquakes, based on fault zone properties, are a first step in mitigating the hazard. Theoretical models of earthquake ruptures along a bi-material interface result in asymmetrical damage and preferred rupture propagation direction. Results include greater damage intensity within stiffer material and preferred slip in the direction of the more compliant side of the fault. Data from a dense seismic array along the Clark strand of the SJFZ at Sage Brush Flat (SGB) near Anza, CA, allows for analysis and characterization of shallow (<1km depth) seismic structure and fault zone properties. Results indicate potential asymmetric rock damage at SGB, similar to findings elsewhere along the SJFZ suggesting an NW preferred rupture propagation.
In this study, analysis of high resolution topography suggests asymmetric morphology of the SGB basin slopes are partially attributed to structural growth and fault zone damage. Spatial distributions of rock damage, from site mapping and fault perpendicular transects within SGB and Alkali Wash, are seemingly asymmetric with pulverization dominantly between fault strands or in the NE fault block. Remapping of the SJFZ through Alkali Wash indicates the fault is not isolated to a single strand along the main geologic boundary as previously mapped. Displacement measurements within SGB are analogous to those from the most recent large earthquake on the Clark fault. Geologic models from both a 3D shear wave velocity model (a product from the dense seismic array analysis) and lithologic and structural mapping from this study indicate surface observations and shallow seismic data compare well. A synthetic three-dimensional fault zone model illustrates the complexity of the structure at SGB for comparison with dense array seismic wave products. Results of this study generally agree with findings from seismic wave interpretations suggesting damage asymmetry is controlled by a NW preferred rupture propagation.
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