Upper-Crustal Structure of the Inner Continental Borderland near Long Beach, California

Shirley Baher, Gary S. Fuis, Ray W. Sliter, & William Normark

Published October 2005, SCEC Contribution #971

A new P-wave velocity/structural model for the inner Continental Borderland (ICB) region was developed for the area near Long Beach, California. It combines controlled-source seismic reflection and refraction data collected during the 1994 Los Angeles Region Seismic Experiment (LARSE), multichannel seismic reflection data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (1998–2000), and nearshore borehole stratigraphy. Based on lateral velocity contrasts and stratigraphic variation determined from borehole data, we are able to locate major faults such as the Cabrillo, Palos Verdes, THUMS-Huntington Beach, and Newport Inglewood fault zones, along with minor faults such as the slope fault, Avalon knoll, and several other yet unnamed faults. Catalog seismicity (1975–2002) plotted on our preferred velocity/structural model shows recent seismicity is located on 16 out of our 24 faults, providing evidence for continuing concern with respect to the existing seismic-hazard estimates.

Forward modeling of P-wave arrival times on the LARSE line 1 resulted in a four-layer model that better resolves the stratigraphy and geologic structures of the ICB and also provides tighter constraints on the upper-crustal velocity structure than previous modeling of the LARSE data. There is a correlation between the structural horizons identified in the reflection data with the velocity interfaces determined from forward modeling of refraction data. The strongest correlation is between the base of velocity layer 1 of the refraction model and the base of the planar sediment beneath the shelf and slope determined by the reflection model. Layers 2 and 3 of the velocity model loosely correlate with the diffractive crust layer, locally interpreted as Catalina Schist.

Baher, S., Fuis, G. S., Sliter, R. W., & Normark, W. (2005). Upper-Crustal Structure of the Inner Continental Borderland near Long Beach, California. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 95(5), 1957-1969. doi: 10.1785/0120040051.