2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Paper No. 44-8
Presentation Time: 2:45 PM-3:00 PM


OLSON, Erik L., Geology and Geophysics, Univ of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI 53715, erikolson2@yahoo.com and COOKE, Michele, Geosciences, Univ of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9297

The Puente Hills thrust (PHT) system represents a significant seismic hazard to the city of Los Angeles. The three blind thrust fault segments that comprise this system, the Coyote Hills, Santa Fe Springs, and Los Angeles faults, evolved from east to west over the past 6 million years. A tectonic shift in the late Miocene, is believed to have both altered slip on the existing Whittier and Chino faults and spurred development of the PHT. Four sequential three-dimensional Boundary Element Method models simulate the evolution of the PHT at different stages of development. These models use three factors, 1) energy release rate , 2) strain energy density and 3) Navier-Coulomb stress, to assess the potential for propagation of the fault system. In each model, energy release rate along the western-most (leading) tip of the PHT drops with growth of the next neighboring fault. The strain energy density is most concentrated at the western tip of the youngest fault and a region of high strain energy density envelopes at least a portion of the next fault to develop. In each model, one of the two predicted planes of maximum Navier-Coulomb stress matches strike of the incipient fault plane. Together these three factors recreate the location, orientation and geometry of the PHT faults as they developed. Therefore by examining these factors in a fault system that is still evolving we may be able to extrapolate the location and orientation of future faulting.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Session No. 44
Structural Geology I: Advances in Rock Mechanics
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 609
1:00 PM-3:45 PM, Sunday, November 2, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 112

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