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Santa Ana, CA, United States

Ingersoll R.V.,University of California at Los Angeles | Pratt M.J.,University of California at Los Angeles | Davis P.M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Caracciolo L.,University of Calabria | And 17 more authors.

The Diligencia basin in the Orocopia Mountains of southeastern California has been one of the primary areas used to test the hypothesis of more than 300 km of dextral slip along the combined San Andreas/San Gabriel fault system. The Orocopia Mountains have also been the focus of research on deposition, deformation, metamorphism, uplift and exposure of the Orocopia Schist, which resulted from fl at-slab subduction during the latest Cretaceous/Paleogene Laramide orogeny. The uppermost Oligocene/Lower Miocene Diligencia Formation consists of more than 1500 m of nonmarine strata, including basalt fl ows and intrusions dated at 24-21 Ma. The base of the Diligencia Formation sits nonconformably on Proterozoic augen gneiss and related units along the southern basin boundary, where low-gradient alluvial fans extended into playa-lacustrine environments to the northeast. The northern basal conglomerate of the Diligencia Formation, which was derived from granitic rocks in the Hayfield Mountains to the north, sits unconformably on the Eocene Maniobra Formation. The northern basal conglomerate is overlain by more than 300 m of mostly red sandstone, conglomerate, mudrock and tuff. The basal conglomerate thins and fines westward; paleocurrent measurements suggest deposition on alluvial fans derived from the northeast, an interpretation consistent with a NW-SE-trending normal fault (present orientation) as the controlling structure of the half graben formed during early Diligencia deposition. This fault is hereby named the Diligencia fault, and is interpreted as a SW-dipping normal fault, antithetic to the Orocopia Mountains detachment and related faults. Deposition of the upper Diligencia Formation was infl uenced by a NE-dipping normal fault, synthetic with, and closer to, the exposed detachment faults. The Diligencia Formation is nonconformable on Mesozoic granitoids in the northwest part of the basin. Palinspastic restoration of the Orocopia Mountain area includes the following phases, each of which corresponds with microplate-capture events along the southern California continental margin: (1) Reversal of 240 km of dextral slip on the San Andreas fault (including the Punchbowl and other fault strands) in order to align the San Francisquito-Fenner-Orocopia Mountains detachment-fault system at 6 Ma. (2) Reversal of N-S shortening and 90° of clockwise rotation of the Diligencia basin and Orocopia Mountains, and 40 km of dextral slip on the San Gabriel fault between 12 and 6 Ma. (3) Reversal of 40° of clockwise rotation of the San Gabriel block (including Soledad basin and Sierra Pelona) and 30 km of dextral slip on the Canton fault between 18 and 12 Ma. These palinspastic restorations result in a coherent set of SW-NE-trending normal faults, basins (including Diligenica basin) and antiformal structures consistent with NW-SE-directed crustal extension from 24 to 18 Ma, likely resulting from the unstable configuration of the Mendocino triple junction. © 2014 Geological Society of America. Source

Rockwell T.,San Diego State University | Rockwell T.,Earth Consultants International Inc. | Gath E.,Earth Consultants International Inc. | Gonzalez T.,Earth Consultants International Inc. | And 11 more authors.
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

We present new geologic, tectonic geomorphic, and geochronologic data on the slip rate, timing, and size of past surface ruptures for the right-lateral Limón and Pedro Miguel faults in central Panamá. These faults are part of a system of conjugate faults that accommodate the internal deformation of Panamá resulting from the ongoing collision of Central and South America. There have been at least three surface ruptures on the Limón fault in the past 950-1400 years, with the most recent during the past 365 years. Displacement in this young event is at least 1.2 m (based on trenching) and may be 1.6-2 m (based on small channel offsets). Awell-preserved 4.2 m offset suggests that the penultimate event also sustained significant displacement. The Holocene slip rate has averaged about 6 mm=yr, based on a 30-m offset terrace riser incised into a 5-ka abandoned channel. The Pedro Miguel fault has sustained three surface ruptures in the past 1600 years, the most recent being the 2 May 1621 earthquake that partially destroyed Panamá Viejo. At least 2.1 m of slip occurred in this event near the Canal, with geomorphic offsets suggesting 2.5-3 m. The historic Camino de Cruces is offset 2.8 m, indicating multimeter displacement over at least 20 km of fault length. Channel offsets of 100-400 m, together with a climate-induced incision model, suggest a Late Quaternary slip rate of about 5 mm=yr, which is consistent with the paleoseismic results. Comparison of the timing of surface ruptures between the Limón and Pedro Miguel faults suggests that large earthquakes may rupture both faults with 2-3 m of displacement for over 40 km, such as is likely in earthquakes in the M 7 range. Altogether, our observations indicate that the Limón and Pedro Miguel faults represent a significant seismic hazard to central Panamá and, specifically, to the Canal and Panamá City. Source

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