Crustal structure and seismic anisotropy near the San Andreas Fault at Parkfield, California

A. Arda Ozacar, George Zandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Receiver functions (RFs) from station PKD located ∼3 km SW of the San Andreas Fault (SAF) samples the Salinian terrane near Parkfield. Crustal multiples indicate a 26-km-thick crust with a VP/ VS of 1.88, which is slightly lower (1.83) for the upper and middle crust in the west. For the mid-crust, arrivals are observed at times corresponding to recently imaged seismic reflectors and may correspond to a layer of metasedimentary rocks below the base of the granitic batholith exposed at the surface. For the lower crust, RFs display strong polarity reversals with backazimuth and a change in Moho amplitude that require strong seismic anisotropy (>15 per cent) in a low velocity, high VP/VS, possibly serpentinite or fluid filled schist layer that has a ENE dipping (∼35°) rock fabric. Similar patterns of amplitude variations and polarity reversal observed in RFs for some southern California stations located west of the SAF support the hypothesis that the cause of these data characteristics is a regionally prevalent lower crustal anisotropy. The orientation of this anisotropic fabric is inconsistent with the recent San Andreas sense of shear and is most likely a fossilized fabric of past eastward-directed (Farallon Plate) subduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1098-1104
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Body waves
  • Composition of the continental crust
  • Continental tectonics: strike-slip and transform
  • Crustal structure
  • North America
  • Seismic anisotropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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