Seismic reflection evidence for seismogenic low-angle faulting in southeastern Arizona

R. A. Johnson, K. L. Loy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Focal mechanisms for large (M>6) earthquakes in extensional terranes suggest that seismogenic normal faults have dips that range from ~30° to ~70°. Geologic relations suggest that low-angle faults have accommodated large-scale upper-crustal extension. Seismic reflection data from the Tucson basin in southeast Arizona image a low-angle normal fault (the Santa Rita fault) that crops out along the trend of late Quaternary fault scarps caused by large-magnitude (M ~6.7-7.6) earthquakes. Velocity-independent dip analysis from shot records of the Santa Rita fault indicates that it has a true dip of ~20° to a depth of at least 6 km. This observation suggests that low-angle extensional faults may be seismogenic and that actual mechanisms for accommodation of upper-crustal extension depend on local conditions of stress and preexisting geologic structure. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-600
Number of pages4
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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