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Heat Flow near Major Strike-Slip Faults in Central and Southern California


Henyey, Thomas Louis (1968) Heat Flow near Major Strike-Slip Faults in Central and Southern California. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z153-RH23.


Seventeen heat flow measurements have been made near the San Andreas, San Jacinto, and Garlock faults of California in regions representative of several levels of seismic activity. Data from these measurements in conjunction with results of other heat flow investigations in central and southern California show no maxima directly attributable to the fault zones. This negative result along with stress-drop results from earthquakes suggests an upper bound of the order of 200 bars for the absolute stress in the vicinity of the San Andreas fault. In addition, the average heat flow in the four regions investigated (San Bernardino Mountains - Lake Hughes, Anza, Hollister, and Tehachapi Mountains) is the same; the mean value of 23 determinations is 1.7 μcal/cm2/sec ± 0.1 s.d.

In the region between Lake Hughes and San Bernardino, presently seismically inactive but in the zone of rupture from the ~8 magnitude Fort Tejon earthquake, six measurements show no correlation with distance from the San Andreas fault. Near the San Jacinto fault in an area characterized by frequent medium magnitude earthquakes, determinations at 1 and 4 km from the fault are equal but 20 per cent higher than a measurement 13 km to the west, but not appreciably different from a probable regional average 25 km to the east. Near Hollister where the San Andreas is actively creeping at a rate of several centimeters per year, a measurement 8 km east of the fault yields a flux twice as great as one 30 km to the west, but values at intermediate points suggest that this anomaly may reflect more the regional geology than the San Andreas fault alone. Finally, measurements across the historically inactive Garlock fault exhibit high fluxes near the fault in comparison with a determination 8 km to the north, but do not differ significantly from determinations in the Mojave Block to the south.

In California, the major fault systems appear to lie in transition zones between blocks of crust characterized by Basin and Range heat flows -- Mojave Block and Salton Trough -- and blocks representative of normal continental heat flows -- Central Valley and the crustal strip between the San Jacinto-San Andreas fault system and the Pacific continental margin.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Geophysics)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geophysics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Wasserburg, Gerald J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:16 May 1968
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04052018-144537140
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10795
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Apr 2018 17:14
Last Modified:02 Apr 2024 18:08

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