The presence of the strike-slip Owens Valley Fault and adjacent dip-slip Independence Fault in the California Basin and Range has been attributed to time-varying stresses; within the context of slip-partitioning it is more simply explained as a good example of partitioning of slip within a system not varying with time (Wesnousky and Jones, 1994). Furthermore, with the limited observations at hand it appears that the physical framework of slip partitioning can provide insights into the physics of low-angle normal faults. The northern Panamint Valley fault zone (to the east of the Owens Valley fault) was found to be a shallow low-angle normal fault (M.I.T. 1985 Field Geophysics Course and Biehler, 1987) of recent vintage (last 5 m.y.); it also has oblique slip (Burchfiel et al., 1987), which is impossible unless the fault is exceptionally weak. This inference is stronger if slip is partitioned between the Panamint Valley and Owens Valley systems. Future research will focus on identifying instances of oblique-slip and partitioned systems elsewhere in the Basin and Range with the goal of evaluating variations in strength between faults, variations in stress directions and extension directions within the Basin and Range, and variations in style of oblique-slip.
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C. H. Jones | CIRES | Dept. of Geological Sciences | Univ. of Colorado at Boulder
Last modified at May 6, 2021 9:08 PM