Late Holocene slip rate of the San Andreas fault and its accommodation by creep and moderate-magnitude earthquakes at Parkfield, California

Nathan A. Toké, Ramon Arrowsmith, Michael J. Rymer, Angela Landgraf, David E. Haddad, Melanie Busch, Joshua Coyan, Alexander Hannah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Investigation of a right-laterally offset channel at the Miller's Field paleoseismic site yields a late Holocene slip rate of 26.2 +6.4/-4.3 mm/yr (1σ) for the main trace of the San Andreas fault at Park-field, California. This is the first well-documented geologic slip rate between the Carrizo and creeping sections of the San Andreas fault. This rate is lower than Holocene measurements along the Carrizo Plain and rates implied by far-field geodetic measurements (~35 mm/yr). However, the rate is consistent with historical slip rates, measured to the northwest, along the creeping section of the San Andreas fault (<30 mm/yr). The paleoseismic exposures at the Miller's Field site reveal a pervasive fabric of clay shear bands, oriented clockwise oblique to the San Andreas fault strike and extending into the upper-most stratigraphy. This fabric is consistent with dextral aseismic creep and observations of surface slip from the 28 September 2004 M6 Parkfield earthquake. Together, this slip rate and deformation fabric suggest that the historically observed San Andreas fault slip behavior along the Parkfield section has persisted for at least a millennium, and that significant slip is accommodated by structures in a zone beyond the main San Andreas fault trace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-246
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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