Initiation of the San Jacinto Fault and its interaction with the San Andreas Fault: Insights from geodynamic modeling

 

Qingsong Li* and Mian Liu

 

Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

 

The San Andreas Fault (SAF) is the Pacific-North American plate boundary, yet in southern California a significant portion of the relative plate motion is accommodated by the San Jacinto Fault (SJF). Here we investigate the initiation of the SJF and its interaction with the SAF in a three-dimensional visco-elasto-plastic finite element model. The model results show that the restraining bend of the southern SAF causes strain localization along the SJF, thus may have contributed to its initiation. Slip on the SJF tends to reduce slip rate on the SAF and enhance deformation in the Eastern California Shear Zone. The initiation of the SJF and its interaction with the SAF reflect the evolving plate boundary zone as it continuously seeks the most efficient way to accommodate the relative plate motion.