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Listric thrusts in the western Transverse Ranges, California

Leonardo Seeber*

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA

Christopher C. Sorlien Institute for Crustal Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA

ABSTRACT Some of the main faults accommodating current shortening in the western Transverse Ranges are probably listric because (1) they are associated with progressive tilting, and (2) they may be preexisting normal faults that accommodated Miocene extension. These faults have been reactivated in the PlioceneQuaternary transpressive regime. We propose a listric thrust model where slip is proportional to backlimb dip. This model requires relatively little fault slip to account for progressive tilting and for wide (in the dip direction) and gently dipping backlimbs. In contrast, widely applied fault-bend fold and fault-propagation fold models relate fault slip to limb width alone and typically predict more shortening by the blind thrusts that can be accounted for by folding in the cover above them. We trace the southernmost structural high in the Transverse Ranges from the Santa Monica Mountains through the southern Santa Barbara Channel. The northdipping backlimb of this anticline is 2030 km wide and 220 km long; its presence suggests a very large north-dipping thrust that could generate very large earthquakes. The slip rate for this fault, however, is substantially lower for a listric thrust model than for a single-step rampflat model. Keywords: fault-related folds, fold-and-thrust belts, listric faults, Santa Barbara Channel, Santa Maria basin, Santa Monica Mountains. INTRODUCTION The strike of the right-lateral San Andreas transform fault through the Transverse Ranges is more westerly than the Pacific plate motion vector in southern California, and forms a restraining bend (Fig. 1). This bend is thought to be responsible for the PlioceneQuaternary transpressive regime and for the belt of west-trending folds and
*E-mail: nano@ldeo.columbia.edu.

faults in the Transverse Ranges (e.g., Atwater, 1989). Most of the damaging earthquakes in this portion of the plate boundary during the past 50 yr have been on faults other than the San Andreas fault, and have had large components of thrusting (e.g., Dolan et al., 1995). Rapid shortening and related seismicity occur over a broad belt in southern California that includes densely populated urban areas. It is thus important to identify potential sites of future damaging earthquakes in this belt. Location, size, geometry, and late Quaternary slip rate are critical parameters of seismogenic faults. Slip rates on blind faults can be determined from characteristics of related folds, but it is dependent on the assumed shape of these faults. Most of the damaging earthquakes in the Transverse Ranges have originated from structurally subtle and relatively short fault segments (e.g., Hauksson, 1990; U.S. Geological Survey and Southern California Earthquake Center, 1994). The upper limit on the magnitude of possible earthquakes might be higher than any of the historic earthquakes, particularly if regional faults, much larger than any of the historic fault ruptures, were demonstrably active. The existence and slip history of large blind thrust faults is inferred from the existence and growth history of large, continuous anticlines. We interpret a 220-km-long anticline along the southern front of the western Transverse Ranges (Fig. 1) to have folded above a midcrustal thrust-fault system of similar dimensions. Recognition of faults that can generate damaging earthquakes in the Transverse Ranges is hampered by two factors: (1) the complexity of the fault system, which is characterized by a large number of faults (Fig. 1) with low to moderate displacement rates; and (2) the existence of numerous blind thrust faults that are manifested only by folding in the shallow crust. Worldwide, the geometry of deep thrust faults has been inferred from shallow structure by applying faultrelated fold models (e.g., Suppe, 1983). Some of these models have been used to infer large thrust flats and ramps beneath the Los Angeles and

Santa Barbara basins and their margins (Davis et al., 1989; Shaw and Suppe, 1994, 1996). The application of fault-related fold models in the Transverse Ranges has recently been subjected to scrutiny, kinematic tests, and criticism (Kamerling and Nicholson, 1996; Huftile and Yeats, 1995; Stone, 1996; Sorlien et al., 2000b). Our concern is that the range of models applied in this area has been unduly limited. In particular, could some of the thrust faults in the Transverse Ranges be listric? Different versions of listric thrust models have been successfully applied to wide and gently dipping fold limbs of the Wyoming foreland (Stone, 1993; Erslev, 1986). Such listric fault models may be useful also in southern California because wide and gently dipping fold limbs are common there, particularly in the offshore area (in this paper, a limb is wide in the dip direction). Recognizing the range of structures active in the current tectonic regime of the Transverse Ranges is particularly important at this stage of earthquake hazard studies in southern California so that geodetic and geomorphic data can be correctly modeled. For example, an important task of the high-resolution Global Positioning System (GPS) array planned for that area is to distinguish diffused elastic deformation from fault slip, and then to distinguish between a thick- and a thin-skin fault array (Prescott, 1996). A comparison of surface deformation for all plausible fault models is critical for this task. The purpose of this paper is to present a listric thrust-fault model that better accounts for the deformation characteristics of some regional folds in the western Transverse Ranges than do rampflat or thick-skin models. Differences between these sets of models are discussed with emphasis on slip predicted on blind faults. Using representative data from the western Transverse Ranges, we show examples of progressive fold limb rotation, wide and very gently dipping panels, and Miocene basins inverted into anticlines. We propose that thrust reactivation of listric Miocene normal faults can account for many of these common features. This paper, however, does not rigorously document particular structures or strati-

GSA Bulletin; July 2000; v. 112; no. 7; p. 10671079; 5 figures.

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graphy. We present a simple listric thrust model as representative of a class of models wherein slip is proportional to limb dip. This model is tested by retrodeforming a well-known structure in the Santa Maria basin and is applied for estimating fault slip associated with a major regional structure marking the southern flank of the Transverse Ranges. MODELS FOR BLIND THRUST FAULTS AND RELATED FOLDS Fault-bend fold and fault-propagation fold models define the geometry and slip of blind

faults from the structure of overlying folds. The models relate the width of fold limbs to slip on the faults (e.g., Suppe and Medwedeff, 1990; Geiser, 1988; Mitra, 1990). These fault models comprise planar segments separated by kink bends, and they typically include gently dipping flats and more steeply dipping ramps (Fig. 2, A and B). The predictions of these models have been successfully tested in many settings (e.g., Suppe et al., 1992). In the western Transverse Ranges, PlioceneQuaternary uplift of long continuous mountain ranges and island chains has been interpreted in terms of such ramp-flat models (Namson and Davis, 1988, 1992; Davis and

Namson, 1994a; Shaw and Suppe, 1994; Dolan et al., 1995). The following predictions are made by classical ramp-flat models (i.e., with a single step and where bed length is preserved; Suppe, 1983; Fig. 2), which have been widely applied to the Transverse Ranges. 1. Sediments acquire dip instantaneously, with no progressive tilting (Suppe et al., 1992). Thus, the uplift rate above fault ramps depends on ramp dip and slip rate, but not on position (uplift rate is uniform above fault ramps). 2. In fault-bend folds, fault slip is equal to or greater than the width of the backlimb for time

120
Fig. 4

119
San

118 W Faults

35
LHF

And

O Sa nta Ma P r

reas

faul t

25 km

ia b

asi

Santa Barbara

SCF

?
G US S1 05

Santa Barbara Channel


893
MC T

ORF
Ventura ORF

SF

Northridge

34 N

a Fig. 3 b ? SCrIF SM SR ?
IF

* SMM ? ? A ?
MCF

PD

SMF

Fig. 5

Figure 1. Traces of main faults in the western Transverse Ranges and their offshore extension in southern California (compiled from Jennings, 1994; Sorlien et al., 2000b; Kamerling and Sorlien, 1999). The western Transverse Ranges are the province of east-westoriented faults and folds. The Santa Monica Mountains (SMM) and the northern Channel Islands (SMSan Miguel, SRSanta Rosa, SCrSanta Cruz, AAnacapa Islands) are part of a continuous 220-km-long topographic and structural high that forms the southern boundary of the western Transverse Ranges. We refer to this feature as the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Islands anticline. Darker shading delineates the north-dipping limb of this anticline. This is interpreted to be a backlimb of a fold associated with a major buried north-dipping thrust fault. Much of the northern part of this limb is overprinted by other structures (lighter shading), including backlimbs of south-dipping thrust faults. O, POrcutt, Purisima anticlines; heavy black plus signOcean Drilling Program Site 893; faults: LHFLions Head, MCFMalibu Coast, MCTMid Channel trend, ORF Oak Ridge, SCFSan Cayetano, SCrIFSanta Cruz Island, SFSimi, SMFSanta Monica, SRIFSanta Rosa Island, SWCFSouthwest Channel faults. PD, MPoint Dume, Malibu. Reflection profiles in Figures 4A and 5A are located by thick lines, and the depth section in Figure 4B and USGS-105 are located by thin lines. S1 and S2 are industry reflection profiles shown in Sorlien (2000). The dotted curve southeast of Anacapa Island represents the base of the forelimb of a fold above a blind, very gently north-dipping fault. The south edge of the progressive north tilt through the islands is shown near the last evidence for Quaternary tilting. The actual south edge may be farther south, and modification of this map awaits the results of surveying coastal terraces by N. Pinter and his students. The south edge of progressive tilt is shown north of San Miguel Island where the Quaternary strata onlap (Fig. 5), and the map does not preclude a wider area of tilt.

SW CF

? SR SCr

Los Angeles

S1 S2

Progressive North Tilt

North dip Overprinted

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LISTRIC THRUSTS IN THE WESTERN TRANSVERSE RANGES, CALIFORNIA

Fault-bend fold
S

Fault-propagation fold
growth

S
S

Listric thrust

W'
W

geometry to be due to progressive tilting during folding. Wide and gently dipping fold limbs are also common along the southern margin of the western Transverse Ranges and the outer California Continental Borderland (Fig. 1; Namson and Davis, 1992; Davis and Namson, 1994b). Some of these structures would require astonishingly large slips in classical ramp-flat models (as much as 30 km). Alternatively, these structures can be accounted for by relatively little slip if fault displacement is proportional to limb dip. Progressive tilting of forelimbs is predicted by recently proposed ramp-flat and detachment thrust models where bed lengths are not preserved (e.g., Wickham, 1995; Hardy and Poblet, 1994). Progressive tilting of forelimbs and backlimbs is also predicted by certain detachment thrust models (Epard and Groshong, 1995) and by listric thrust models (Erslev, 1986). However, only listric thrust models require minimal or no change in bed length (Fig. 2C). Multibend kink-fold models (Medwedeff and Suppe, 1997) can result in progressive tilting and a backlimb much wider than slip if the distance between bends is much less than the slip. In this case, however, the multibend model is a more complex approximation of a listric model. We argue that listric fault models are particularly appropriate because PlioceneQuaternary shortening in this area is accommodated in part by reactivation of Miocene normal faults (e.g., Sorlien et al., 2000a; Clark et al., 1991; Huftile and Yeats, 1996). LISTRIC MIOCENE NORMAL FAULTS REACTIVATED AS PLIOCENEQUATERNARY THRUSTS According to interpretation of paleomagnetic data, the east-westtrending western Transverse Ranges have rotated clockwise about a vertical axis more than 90 during Neogene time from an originally north-south orientation (Kamerling and Luyendyk, 1985; Hornafius, 1985). This rotation and related extension occurred above major low-angle normal faults (Yeats, 1976, 1987; Crouch and Suppe, 1993; Sorlien et al., 2000a; Nicholson et al., 1994). Many such faults have been inferred from seismic reflection profiles along the California margin (Crouch and Suppe, 1993; Nicholson et al., 1993; Bohannon and Geist, 1998; Clark et al., 1991; McCulloch, 1989). Folds that are hundreds of kilometers long, forming submerged banks and islands offshore southern California (Davis and Namson, 1994b), may be generally related to thrust reactivation of the normal faults interpreted to underlie the region (e.g., Bohannon and Geist, 1998). If so, relatively little shortening could produce the large structures. Alternatively, substantial slip would be required on such large structures

Syn-thrust strata Pre-thrust strata

Inactive axial surface Active axial surface

R-T

(A & B only)

Figure 2. (A) Fault-bend fold (Suppe, 1983). Slip is greater than or equal to the backlimb width, uplift rate is constant between the active axial surfaces, and only a small part of the slip is absorbed in the fold. (B) Fault-propagation fold (Suppe and Medwedeff, 1990; Mitra, 1990). Slip is equal to the width of the fault between the intersections of the active axial surfaces with the fault, and all slip is absorbed in the fold. The pre-thrust strata were modeled in A and B using the program Rampe of Eric Mercier. (C) A circular listric thrust-fault model. In the example shown, sedimentation rate is faster than uplift rate, and the fault is planar above the footwall cutoff of the gray layer. The age of the top of the gray layer coincides with onset of thrusting. In this simple model, the hanging-wall block rotates rigidly about a horizontal axis. Resulting space problems may be accounted for by localized shortening and dilation as indicated by double arrows (see text and Erslev, 1986). See text for explanation of variables.

intervals corresponding to the age of each synthrust stratigraphic horizon (Fig 2A; Suppe et al., 1992). In fault-propagation folds, slip is equal to backlimb width only for the syn-thrust strata within the backlimb growth triangle (Fig. 2B). The geometry of certain folds in the western Transverse Ranges is not consistent with these predictions. Post-Miocene strata commonly dip

more steeply with depth and increasing age wherever they are preserved (mostly in the offshore part of the Transverse Ranges; Figs. 1 and 3). The drape and filling of a preexisting basin are consistent with progressive increase of dip with depth, and has this been suggested for the southern margin of the Santa Barbara basin (K. Mueller, 1998, personal commun.). We present evidence that supports instead that this

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pregrowth

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from scaling arguments alone (e.g., Scholz, 1990, p. 110). Large-displacement normal faults are generally observed to be listric (i.e., crosssectional trace is curved), either directly from reflection profiles or field exposures, or indirectly from dip panels and rollover anticlines in growth sediments (e.g., Xiao and Suppe, 1992; Yin and Dunn, 1992). Wide panels of strata tilted at a constant dip are common (e.g., Fig. 4) and suggest rotation about a horizontal axis with little internal deformation. Such rotation can be accomplished by slip on a fault in the shape of a partial cylinder that has the same axis as the axis of rigid rotation (circular listric fault). Tilting by a circular listric fault occurs either in extension (e.g., Dula, 1991) or in contraction (e.g., Erslev, 1986). Real faults are expected to have slip gradients and complex shapes, and to deform during tectonism. However, progressive tilting and increasing dip with increasing slip will occur as a result of slip on any curved, concave-up fault. For simplicity, we consider only circular listric faults, with the understanding that other shapes are likely.

SANTA MARIA BASIN After the tectonic regime of the western Transverse Ranges evolved from extensional to contractile in early Pliocene time, many of the Miocene basins were inverted into anticlines (e.g., Fig. 4). These inverted basins have been widely interpreted to reflect the reactivation of Miocene normal (separation) faults as thrust (separation) faults (Clark et al., 1991; Sorlien et al., 2000a; Huftile and Yeats, 1996). These faults have probably retained a listric shape through the reversal of their dip-slip components. The Santa Maria basin, located just north of the western Transverse Ranges (Fig. 1), is a good example of an extensional basin now being shortened (Fig. 4). Wide dip panels and both normal and reverse separation faults have long been recognized in the area of this basin (e.g., Woodring and Bramlette, 1950). A moderately north dipping fault was interpreted beneath the Purisima anticline by Krammes and Curran (1959). Tennyson (unpublished northeast striking cross section intersecting the northern end of the north-

south section in Fig. 4A) and we interpret the same structure to be a major listric north-dipping fault that controlled the growth of the Santa Maria basin during extension (Fig. 4). Miocene and early Pliocene strata are much thicker on the northern or hanging-wall side of this fault (see Stanley et al., 1996). This fault is along the trend of the Lions Head fault as mapped by McLean (1992). In this paper, the protoLions Head fault is the ancestral Miocene fault below the Purisima anticline. Miocene and early Pliocene strata are thickest through the crest of the Purisima anticline and they gradually thin out to the north, forming a 25kmwide panel of growth strata in the preshortening profile (Fig. 4C). The regular increase in thickness to the south is consistent with a very large backtilted block rotating on a deep-reaching fault of approximately circular listric shape (e.g., Dula, 1991). The Purisima anticline formed after deposition of the late Mioceneearly Pliocene Sisquoc Formation, when the protoLions Head fault was reactivated in shortening. The north-verging Orcutt anticline is interpreted to form above a back thrust, also

A
Figure 3. Progressive tilting on the north limb of the Channel Islands anticline displayed in two 7 kJ sparker seismic reflection profiles from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data set 17200. Note that these nonmigrated reflection profiles understate the progressive tilting. Both migration and depth conversion tend to steepen deep reflections more than shallow ones, if velocity increases with depth. Locations of A and B are shown in Figure 1. Dated strata are correlated from Ocean Drilling Program Site 893 (Kennett, 1995), located on the northern continuation of USGS-B108. Shades of gray on B108 show lowstand systems tracts and a transgressive systems tract (f is flooding surface; U is the time-transgressive MioceneQuaternary unconformity, which becomes a Pliocene unconformity in the basin; M is waterbottom multiple). Note that U is more tilted than f, which is in turn more tilted than the seafloor. The interval between U and f may comprise more than one lowstand systems tract.

0.5 Vertical exaggeration = 5:1 at sea floor 0.1 s 75 m Pliocene unconformity

500 m

Two-Way Travel time (s)

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

South 0.2 s
M M

Santa Cruz Island fault


f U

USGS-B108
1 km 0.1 s

North

0.5 s

M M

0.7 s

~50 ka Vertical Exaggeration ~6:1 at Sea Floor 1.0 s ~110 ka

Pliocene unconformity
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A
top Pliocene 25

South
02
Ts Ts Ts Tm Tm BM Tm B Tm Ts top Sisquoc 400 m west
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Purisima Anticline Orcutt anticline


top Pliocene

105

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top Sisquoc 32 27

Santa Maria Valley 5 km North

Ts

1.0 Tm

1.0

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2.0

2.0

Two-way traveltime (s)

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4.0 No vertical exaggeration at an interval velocity of 3 km/s

Profile provided by UNOCAL

Ts, Top Sisquoc Formation; Tm, Top Monterey Formation; BM, Base Montery Formation; B, "Basement" (Franciscan Complex).

B
Present
Orcutt Anticline Santa Maria Valley

South North SL

Purisima Anticline

SL

5 km
pro toLi on 's H ea df au lt

5 km

5 Depth in km
O au tf ut rc lt

10

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Pliocene and Quaternary Wells 15 Faults

Sisquoc Formation (Miocene and Pliocene)

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Miocene

5 km

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Depth in km

Geological Society of America Bulletin, July 2000


North SL
8 -3
3 1

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C
-7 5 13 27 15
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eroded

Early Pliocene

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eroded

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22 0 8

-30 27 -3 13
8

35

-7
3

12

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8
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4 8 4-55 -3

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22

Figure 4. (A) Multichannel seismic reflection profile (UNOCAL) across the Santa Maria basin (profile located by thick line in Fig. 1). Arrow pairs below the Purisima and Orcutt anticlines indicate reflections associated with the protoLions Head and Orcutt faults. Surface geology is from Dibblee (1988, 1989). Subsurface reflections are identified either by correlation along a southern part of this profile (not shown) to surface outcrop, or by comparison to B, using reasonable interval velocities (but not by directly converting to traveltime using velocity logs from wells along the profile). (B) Depth section adjacent to the profile in A (located by thin line in Fig. 1; from Krammes and Curran, 1959). (C) Reconstruction of the postextension, preshortening structure (early Pliocene) along the section in B. Bed length and cross-sectional area are conserved in the retrodeformation, but compaction is not accounted for. The rotation in degrees about a horizontal axis is indicated for individual blocks (positive is counterclockwise forward in time). The reconstructed depth of the top of the Sisquoc Formation (deposited about the time of the onset of shortening) is consistent with the deposition of the deep-water Foxen Formation along the trend of the protoLions Head fault (Behl and Ingle, 1998). The upper Miocene and younger strata slide from the Orcutt anticline through the syncline toward the Purisima anticline by layer-parallel slip. About 2 km of shortening is determined by unfolding the hanging-wall block between the Purisima and the Orcutt faults. The footwall block of the south-dipping Orcutt fault is rotated (3) on the protoLions Head fault to accommodate this shortening. In the reconstruction, the protoLions Head fault is assumed to be circular and to merge into a horizontal detachment below the pinchout of the Miocene and younger strata. SLsea level.

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during post-Miocene time. A listric shape for the protoLions Head fault is suggested directly by gently dipping reflections downdip from the moderately dipping near-surface part of the fault (Fig. 4A). We assume a circular listric shape for the reconstruction (Fig. 4C). This shape is predicted by some models if the dip of precompression layering is uniform (e.g., inclined shear; Dula, 1991). The deviation from such a uniform dip in our reconstruction (Fig. 4C) suggests misfit of the simple circular listric model. Another likely complication is motion in and out of the section in Figure 4 caused by strike-slip components on any of the faults. In this discussion of the Santa Maria basin structures and in the rest of this paper, we consider only dipslip components that are in the plane of the sections. Area balancing of this motion is meaningful only if the structures can be assumed to be uniform along strike (i.e., cylindrical) over distances larger than the strike-slip components. Also, models such as fault-bend folds and listric thrusts that relate limb width, or limb width and dip, to slip need not be area balanced in order to determine how far up a thrust ramp material has been displaced. Generally, strike and dip components in the transpressional regime of the Transverse Ranges tend to be partitioned on distinct subparallel faults (e.g., Seeber and Armbruster, 1995; Pinter et al., 1998a). Other probable complications include formation of a forelimb and layer-parallel shortening (volume loss), either of which can lead to displacement gradients on the faults. The fault array in Figure 4C may be incomplete, particularly for north-dipping faults beneath the Orcutt fault (e.g., Woodring and Bramlette, 1950; Namson and Davis, 1990). Structural features of the offshore Santa Maria basin are very similar to those represented in Figure 4 (Clark et al., 1991; Sorlien et al., 2000a). Our reconstruction of the precompressional structure in the Santa Maria basin and the interpretation of many similar extensional basins inverted during the current compressional deformation support our contention that Miocene extension and subsequent contractile reactivation of the extensional structures are regional phenomena. DIP OVERPRINTING Shallow crustal structure may be the result of multiple underlying faults operating synchronously or successively (Shaw and Suppe, 1994; Novoa, 1998). The regional south tilt of the Santa Maria basin block (Fig. 4) is probably the result of two successive and opposite tilt events. A southerly tilt occurred during growth sedimentation in Miocene time. We argued above that a listric fault was responsible for this southward tilting during extension. Subsequently, the same fault was reactivated during PlioceneQuaternary shortening when the Purisima and Orcutt anti-

clines formed. A regional tilt reversal is expected to accompany the slip reversal on the listric fault, but it is only seen in the Purisima anticline because the regional rotation is small (3 in Fig. 4C). Furthermore, this regional PlioceneQuaternary down-to-the-north tilting was accompanied locally by southward tilting on the backlimb of the Orcutt anticline. Thus, we interpret two deformation phases and two distinct structures to have overprinted each other on the south limb of the Orcutt anticline. Multiple overprinting is common in the western Transverse Ranges and complicates the task of inferring buried structures and their slip rates from folds (e.g., Novoa, 1998). Namson and Davis (1990) ascribed part of the regional southward tilt in Figure 4 to postearly Pliocene fault-bend folding and fault-propagation folding. They related part of this tilt to slip on currently active and possibly seismogenic faults. In contrast, we ascribe much of the regional tilt to Miocene extension and the folding in the Orcutt and Purisima anticlines to PlioceneQuaternary slip on the regional buried fault and a backthrust. Thus, our interpretations and those of Namson and Davis (1990) differ drastically on the significance of the regional tilt in terms of slip rates and earthquake hazard. LISTRIC THRUST MODEL Erslev (1986) proposed rigid rotation on circular listric thrusts for the basement uplifts of the Rocky Mountains foreland. We consider similar listric-thrust fold models to account for progressive tilting, tilt-dependent fault slip, and reactivation of preexisting listric normal faults. In the simplest model, we assume undeformed horizontal layering and a circular listric fault connected tangentially to a layer-parallel detachment (Fig. 2C). The hanging-wall block rotates about a horizontal axis; this rotation can take place without internal deformation except near the anticlinal and synclinal axial surfaces because the fault is an arc of a circle. Then, fault slip S = R, where R is the radius of curvature of the fault, and is the cumulative rotation angle (in radians) of the hanging-wall block (i.e., dip of the backlimb; Erslev, 1986). By expressing R in terms of different combinations of measurable quantities, we obtain S = W/sin = T/(1 cos) = [(W2 + T2)/2T] (1) (2) (3)

The rotation of the hanging-wall block in Figure 2C is driven by a uniform transport velocity above the detachment. With this simplest of all possible kinematic boundary conditions, rigid horizontal-axis rotation can occur with localized extension and shortening at the upper and lower ends of the backlimb (double arrows in Fig. 2C; Erslev, 1986). Conservation of bed length at the base of the backlimb is possible with a specific nonuniform kinematic boundary. Generally, however, layer-parallel slip and/or other deformation is required in the hanging-wall block for a transport velocity that increases upward. Equations 13 require rigid rotation, but are still valid if layer-parallel slip is taking place in the hanging-wall block, provided W is measured and not W (Fig. 2C). Wide forelimbs can also form synchronously with wide backlimbs above thrust faults, and these forelimbs are expected if the fault is blind (Sibson, 1995). Deformation of the footwall block implies changes in the shape of the fault (e.g., Dula, 1991; Ramsay, 1992). Footwall collapse caused by loading of the uplifted hanging-wall block would rotate the upper reaches of the fault to a lower dip (counterclockwise in Fig. 2C). Forelimbs are then created by rigid block rotation above the resulting convex-up parts of the fault (Erslev, 1986). Such a convex-up fault segment beneath a wide forelimb is imaged on profile S1, located in Figure 1 and shown in Sorlien (2000). Internal deformation is superimposed on this rigid-rotation model to fully explain wide forelimbs. Slip is expected to propagate updip on a normal fault that is reactivated as a thrust. The resulting displacement gradient is generally accounted for by folding of the hanging-wall block creating a wide progressively tilted forelimb (Sibson, 1995; Sorlien and Seeber, 1997). Formation of a forelimb by such a displacement gradient can force formation development of a backlimb (Fig. 9c in Wickham, 1995). This backlimb will be superimposed on that formed by rigid-block rotation in Figure 2C. As we propose for backlimbs, the width of forelimbs is related to the width of the map-view projection of the underlying fault, and forelimb dip is related to fault slip. SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINCHANNEL ISLANDS THRUST A prominent topographic high, the southernmost ridge of the western Transverse Ranges, is continuous westward from the Santa Monica Mountains to the northern Channel Islands and beyond (Fig. 1). The anticlinal nature of parts of this ridge has long been recognized. Like Davis and Namson (1994a), we stress the continuity of the anticlinal structure over the length of the topographic high, and we refer to this structure as the

where W, T, and are width of the backlimb, depth to detachment, and dip of the fault, respectively, as measured from the same prethrusting layer (Fig. 2C).

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Geological Society of America Bulletin, July 2000

A
SRIF M ? ? ? ? ? M ? SCrIF Santa Barbara Channel progressive tilting ? M SMCIA

Southwest

5 km

Northeast

SWCF

1s

? ?

1.0 s

2s

2.0 s

3s

? ?

Two-way Travel Time

4s

4.0 s

5s No vertical exaggeration at 3 km/s

5.0 s

= Stratigraphy uncertain, based on seafloor geology ? = Fault interpretation uncertain Reflection or discontinuity (interpreted as fault)

Miocene sediments (includes Sisquoc Formation)

B
W
=8

SW
=5
2 4 6 8 10 12
5+ km

SWCF 0

SMCIA

5 km NE

Depth in km

Geological Society of America Bulletin, July 2000


1.5 km/s 1.8 km/s 3.0 km/s
13+ km

10

12

Displacement Gradient Not Modeled

14 Miocene

3.2 - 5.9 km

14 16

16

Figure 5. (A) Reflection profile across the western terminus of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Islands anticline (SMCIA; profile located in Fig. 1). Seafloor geology is from Vedder (1990). This profile and its approximate intersection with the more detailed stratigraphic interpretation of USGS-105 is located on Figure 1. Faults; SWCFSouthwest Channel, SRIFSanta Rosa Island, SCrIFSanta Cruz Island. (B) A simple depth section (1:1) of the profile in A assuming 1.5 km/s in the water layer, 1.8 km/s in post-Miocene rocks, and , and refer to the circular 3.0 km/s in Miocene rocks. Parameters W, T, S, , listric model in Figure 2C. A fault-bend model with two ramps separated by a flat that could account for the overall shape of the fold is also sketched in. The parameters of the SWCF, including a reverse slip of 3.25.9 km and a detachment depth of 1219 km, are derived from the dip of the fault in the Miocene layer (4555), the dip of the backlimb (58), and the width of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline (30 km).

Two-way Travel Time 3.0 s

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Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline. The anticline has an asymmetric profile, with a gentle dip to the north and a steeper dip to the south (e.g., Fig. 5; Davis and Namson, 1994a). The southern limb forms the north margin of the Los Angeles basin and of offshore basins. We used a closely spaced (800 m) grid of seismic reflection data over most of Santa Barbara Channel, and published and unpublished structure-contour maps (e.g., Heck, 1998; Sorlien et al., 2000b) to map the north-dipping limb of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline along the southern margin of the Santa Barbara Channel (Fig. 1). Our primary grids of seismic reflection data were the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 17200 and 19236 sets, described in Richmond et al. (1981) and in Burdick and Richmond (1982; see also reflection data published in Junger, 1979). These data were supplemented by a few USGS multichannel profiles (Sorlien et al., 1998, 2000a) and industry multichannel profiles (Fig. 5; Sorlien et al., 2000b). Dense grids of industry multichannel data and many wells constrained the subsurface structure contour map of a ca. 6 Ma horizon in Sorlien et al. (2000b) and in Heck (1998). We traced the north-dipping limb of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline onshore by using data from numerous 1:24 000 scale geologic maps in the Santa Monica Mountains area (e.g., Dibblee and Ehrenspeck, 1993), as well as from cross sections and structure-contour maps in an industry study (Hopps et al., 1995; Nicholson et al., 1997; see also the Web site http://quake. crustal.ucsb.edu/hopps). In our interpretation, the north limb of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline is 2030 km wide and 220 km long and generally displays uniform gentle northward dips of 520. A prominent exception is a 20-km-wide panel of Miocene rocks in the Santa Monica Mountains portion of the fold limb with gentle to steep northerly dips (Dibblee, 1982; Dibblee and Ehrenspeck, 1993). These steeper dips could partially reflect tilting associated with south-dipping Miocene extensional faults (e.g., Huftile and Yeats, 1996, see also Campbell et al., 1966). Localized outcrops of postextensional rocks support this hypothesis. For example, northeast of Point Dume late Miocene strata are gently north dipping above moderately north dipping middle Miocene rocks (Fig. 1; Dibblee, 1993). We ascribe deviations from a planar geometry of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticlines backlimb to thrust faults that may be secondary and shallow relative to the fault associated with the anticline. In particular, we interpret folding associated with south-dipping faults as an overprint on to regional north tilt. In this interpretation, the south-dipping Oak Ridge fault and faults beneath the Mid Channel trend are anti-

thetic to the thrust fault associated with the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline, as the thrust fault associated with the Orcutt anticline is antithetic to the protoLions Head fault (Fig. 4). Onshore, the Simi fault (Fig. 1) is also associated with a narrow belt of south dips. The area mapped as overprinted south of the offshore and coastal Oak Ridge fault (Fig. 1) is characterized by short-wavelength folding in post-Miocene layers and by gentle dips, mostly to the north, of a 6 Ma horizon (Heck, 1998; Huftile and Yeats, 1995; Sorlien et al., 2000b). The onshore overprinted area north and northeast of Point Dume (Fig. 1) is characterized by northerly dips, but it is separated from the Santa Monica Mountains by a prominent belt of south dips. This structural break narrows westward and disappears north-northwest of Point Dume. Near the west end of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline, a less pronounced structural break between north-dipping panels displayed in Figure 5A is interpreted to reflect a north-dipping, shallow thrust. In summary, we see strong evidence for a regional gently dipping Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline fold limb. This north-dipping fold limb is at least as wide as the darker shaded area in Figure 1, but could include part or all of the overprinted area as well. We believe the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline and its wide and gently dipping backlimb to be controlled by a major north-dipping thrust fault, which we refer to as the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Islands thrust. Parts of the thrust coincide with thrust faults proposed by others (e.g., Keller and Prothero, 1987; midcrustal detachment of Novoa, 1998; the Channel Island thrust of Shaw and Suppe, 1994; the Elysian Park thrust of Davis and Namson, 1994a; the part of the Elysian Park thrust beneath the Santa Monica Mountains was renamed the Santa Monica Mountains thrust by Dolan et al., 1995). We argue that the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline defines a regionally continuous active fold formed by slip on a regional master thrust fault (also Davis and Namson, 1994a). This proposed large active fault could produce large earthquakes, but not necessarily one large enough to rupture the entire length of the fault. The structure is likely to be segmented, particularly at the intersections with active northwest-southeast right-lateral faults (Fig. 1). Early and middle Miocene rocks are thicker on the islands than along the axis of western Santa Barbara Channel (Fig. 5; Sorlien et al., 2000a; Fig. 3 in Weaver, 1969; Redin et al., 1998). This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that the axis of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline coincides with a Miocene basin, and that the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust is a reactivated normal fault. A

715-km-wide south-dipping forelimb is present along much of the length of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline (e.g., the eastern Santa Monica Mountains, and offshore; Sorlien and Seeber, 1997; Fig. 5). This wide forelimb could have been partially created during initial thrust reactivation, while the deep fault was slipping and the shallow fault was locked (see also Sibson, 1995). The residual south dip beneath Santa Maria Valley in the early Pliocene reconstruction of Santa Maria basin (Fig. 4C) can be explained by similar nonrigid deformation during initial reactivation of a Miocene normal fault. Thus, although the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline and the structure in the Santa Maria basin differ in size and other important respects, they appear similar in their evolution. East-weststriking faults mapped south of the northern Channel Islands (Fig. 1; Crouch and Suppe, 1993; Bohannon and Geist, 1998) may be the most direct surface manifestation of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust. The Santa Monica fault bounds the Santa Monica Mountains to the south. This fault may be analogous to the Santa Rosa Island fault (Figs. 1 and 5A) in cutting the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrusts hanging-wall block at the forelimb of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline and in having a significant component of left slip (Sorlien et al., 1998; Dolan et al., 1995). The Santa Monica fault and associated faults to its south have been interpreted to be reactivated normal faults (Schneider et al., 1996) and may have been coupled with the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust before the onset of thrusting. PROGRESSIVE TILTING The western half of the north-dipping backlimb of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline is characterized by PlioceneQuaternary strata that have a north dip that increases with depth, and by older sequence boundaries that are more steeply north dipping than the younger ones (Figs. 1, 3, and 5). Velocity logs in Santa Barbara Channel show that velocity increases with depth, and therefore vertical exaggeration on the time sections in Figures 3 and 5 decreases with depth. Depth-converted profiles near Figure 5 (USGS-105, located in Fig. 1 and shown in Sorlien et al., 2000a) and north of Santa Rosa Island (Sorlien et al., 1998) show dip to increase with depth. Differential subsidence due to greater compaction in the north than the south and/or drape and filling of a preexisting basin may contribute a nontectonic component of north tilt. However, two factors support tectonic progressive north tilt.

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First, a time-transgressive unconformity underlying the shelf and slope manifests a period of erosion (Figs. 3, A and B). Posterosional compaction is not expected in the rocks below the unconformity because more material was removed by erosion than has been redeposited. The dip of onlapping strata just above the unconformity, therefore, is not affected by compaction. Preunconformity strata in Figure 3 dip more steeply than does the unconformity, which in turn dips more steeply than the strata above it. Younger onlapping strata are progressively flatter upsection. This geometry is not consistent with differential compaction. Furthermore, deep Pliocene erosion beneath what is now the deepest part of the basin (Shaw and Suppe, 1994) is inconsistent with gradual filling of a basin. It suggests instead an increase in seafloor relief along the basin margin. We conclude that progressive tilting in the Santa Barbara channel is at least in part tectonic. This tilting is most prominent along the base of the slope along the south margin of Santa Barbara basin, where it affects strata (dated by the Ocean Drilling Program, Site 893) that are younger than 50 ka (Fig. 3, A and B; Kennett, 1995; Junger, 1979). Second, Santa Cruz Island and its northern shelf are tilting northward with little possible contribution from either differential compaction or drape. Progressive north tilting can be demonstrated and quantified by comparing uplift of dated coastal terraces on northwestern Santa Cruz Island to subsidence of strata deposited on the shelf north of the island above overcompacted Miocene rocks. The paleoshoreline (shoreline angle) of the stage 5e (ca. 125 ka) marine abrasion platform is near its original elevation (~5 m) near the northwest point of Santa Cruz Island, while earlier uplift is required to explain the nearby higher shorelines at 25 m and 80 m (Pinter et al., 1998a), or 130 m a few kilometers east (Pinter et al., 1998b). On the shelf north of Santa Cruz and Anacapa islands, post-Miocene uplift and erosion was followed by aggradation that accumulated only a few seismic sequences (Fig. 3B). The tops of prograding sediment packages (lowstand systems tracts) are tangential to planar sequence boundaries (toplap) north of Santa Cruz Island, indicating sea-levelcontrolled deposition (in contrast to later erosion, which would truncate the clinoforms). The oldest of these surfaces occurs 10 km north of the uplifted 130 m paleoshoreline, in water as deep as 240 m, twice the depth of the lowest eustatic sea level (Pinter et al., 1998b). These sequences overlie the 1 Ma horizon of Yeats (1981) near the east end of Santa Cruz Island (Pinter et al., 1998b, 1998c; Junger, 1979). The simplest explanation for uplift of the islands and subsidence of the shelf is tectonic north tilt. A tentative age of 400 ka has been proposed for the 80130 m terrace (Pinter et al., 1998a). Assum-

ing a constant rate, the extrapolated uplift would be 325 m in 1 m.y. We can then calculate a tilting rate of 2.4/m.y. from the differential vertical motion between the uplifted terraces on the island and post1 Ma 100+ m subsidence of the shelf 10 km to the north. At this rate, it would only take a few million years to form the gentle north dips of the Miocene strata on northwestern Santa Cruz Island. Available data on coastal terraces on the northern Channel Islands suggest that north tilting is regional. The inner edge of the low prominent marine abrasion platform on northeast Santa Rosa Island slopes down to the north from more than 20 m elevation near the Santa Rosa Island fault to about 14 m elevation at the northeast point of that island (Sorlien, 1994). The shelf break is deeper north of Anacapa Island than south of it (Scholl, 1960), consistent with the subsidence of the shelf north of that island (subsided shelf-edge strata shown in Junger, 1979, sheet 3, profile K-606). In the eastern half of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline backlimb, we interpret Quaternary progressive tilting from cross sections by Dibblee (1992) and Paschall et al. (1956) in small areas of the northern Santa Monica Mountains where Quaternary strata are preserved (Fig. 1). Post-Miocene strata are not preserved on the rest of the subaerial part of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline backlimb. UNIFORM EARLY KINEMATICS OF THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINSCHANNEL ISLAND ANTICLINE Folding of the forelimb of the Santa Monica Mountains initiated at 5 Ma (Schneider et al., 1996), or 4.5 Ma (the entire early Pliocene Repettian stage thins onto folds along northern Los Angeles basin in cross sections in Wright, 1991). The Repettian stage strata also onlap the base of the north-dipping fold limb along the north-verging Oak Ridge trend of the eastern Santa Barbara Channel (Redin et al., 1998). Initial short-wavelength folding of the western part of the structure, northwest of San Miguel Island, also occurred during early Pliocene time (Sorlien et al., 2000a). The short-wavelength folds are overlapped by a sequence with uniform thickness and an apparent northeast dip of 5, suggesting a flat seafloor during deposition and later tilt. This sequence is capped by a late Pliocene onlap surface that dates initiation of regional tilting (Fig. 5A). Similarly, short-wavelength, north-verging folds in southeast Santa Barbara Channel are capped by an unconformity that now dips north on the order of 5 (Junger, 1979). The initiation of this regional tilting is probably late Pliocene or early Quaternary, although this dating is hampered by absence of Pliocene strata in this area.

IS THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAIN PART OF THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINSCHANNEL ISLAND ANTICLINE ACTIVE? Some of the recent work on the Santa Monica MountainsLos Angeles basin emphasizes lack of evidence for current activity on blind thrust faults in this area (Johnson et al., 1996; Foxall, 1998). Although probably not as important to the overall strain budget as initially thought (e.g., Davis and Namson, 1994a), the evidence still points to significant activity on blind thrust faults. Comparison of geodetically determined north-south contraction to geologic-based slip estimates on faults in the Los Angeles basin area indicates that half of the convergence is accommodated on conjugate strike-slip faults (Walls et al., 1998). After accounting for surface faults, as much as 1.5 mm/yr north-south shortening could be accommodated by folds above blind thrust faults (Walls et al., 1998; Yeats and Huftile, 1996). Slip on blind thrust faults could be higher than 1.5 mm/yr if the strike-slip faults in the upper crust are confined in the hanging wall above such faults. A ca. 125 ka marine terrace along the Malibu Coast east of Point Dume is uplifted at 0.20.4 mm/yr, even after removing the effects of surface faults (Johnson et al., 1996). This surface uplift rate can be interpreted, for example, to reflect a slip rate 0.81.5 mm/yr on a portion of a thrust ramp dipping 15. Furthermore, this rate is a minimum value because the uplift is probably a product of both tectonic thickening and sinking of the crust. Meigs et al. (1999) interpreted that uplift of the Santa Monica Mountains is balanced by erosion and that the mountains are therefore in isostatic balance. This interpretation is in part based on late Quaternary rates of surface uplift being comparable to the 5 m.y. average increase in structural relief (Meigs et al., 1999). However, isostatic subsidence of the coastline along the Santa Monica Mountains is suggested if increase in structural relief has been higher during Quaternary time than the 5 m.y. average rate, or if erosion rates near the coastline, where coastal terraces are preserved, are lower than in the interior of the Santa Monica Mountains. We interpret that isostatic or flexural subsidence is pervasive along the southern front of the Transverse Ranges. Widespread subsidence has been documented in the Santa Barbara Channel (e.g., Pinter et al., 1998b, 1998c), and is inferred for the hangingwall block of the offshore Santa Monica fault (the Dume fault). This upthrown side of the fault is only lightly eroded and is now submerged; it is probably subsiding with respect to sea level (profile S2 located in Fig. 1, shown in Sorlien, 2000; Davis and Namson, 1994b). We conclude that absolute surface uplift rates are not a reliable mea-

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sure of blind fault activity along the southern front of the Transverse Ranges. Blind thrust faulting is also suggested by folding of PliocenePleistocene strata north of downtown Los Angeles that have absorbed 0.50.7 mm/yr of shortening (Schneider et al., 1996). Continued slip on blind thrust faults is indicated by a 5 south tilt of the ca. 1 Ma horizon across a 3 km width (Fig. 4 in Schneider et al., 1996). Further evidence of ongoing deformation along the southeastern front of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline is a south-facing seafloor fault or fold scarp as much as 700 m high along the offshore Santa Monica fault west of Point Dume (Fig. 1; Davis and Namson, 1994b; Sorlien, 2000). Much of the seismicity below the Los Angeles basin is characterized by eastweststriking low-angle thrust planes (Hauksson, 1990; Geiser and Seeber, 1996). NO LATE QUATERNARY TILT NORTHEAST OF ANACAPA ISLAND Northeast of Anacapa Island the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline takes a left bend and forms a structural saddle (Fig. 1). In the same area, post-Miocene reflectors suggest no progressive tilting. These strata are clearly imaged by 12-fold stacked seismic reflection profiles (USGS data set 19236), as well as by industry data. The reflections from post1 Ma strata above a north-dipping unconformity are flat lying. Reflections from Miocene strata beneath the unconformity dip uniformly to the north (Greene, 1976). The tilt of these older strata is therefore prelate Quaternary. This lack of late Quaternary tilting may be interpreted as either evidence for thrust inactivity, or alternatively as evidence of a change in the shape of an active fault. A gradual decrease in north dip of post1 Ma strata from eastern Santa Cruz Island eastward is consistent with a gradual flattening of the fault toward the east. Folding southeast of Anacapa Island reveals that blind thrust faulting has propagated south of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust trend in this area (Fig. 1). The industry seismic reflection profile located as S1 in Figure 1 shows the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust to be convex up in the upper 89 km, consistent with the very wide south-dipping panel or forelimb in the area of the structural saddle (Sorlien, 2000). The left bend on the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline between the Santa Monica Mountains and Anacapa Island is a releasing bend along the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust for associated leftoblique faults such as the Malibu Coast fault (Fig 1; Dibblee, 1982). Such a releasing bend could locally cancel the effect of regional short-

ening. The lack of tilting might suggest local fault inactivity, but this presents some problems when considering regional kinematics in map view (Sorlien et al., 2000b). In summary, the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline is a continuous structure with a uniform kinematic development from the western Channel Islands to the Santa Monica Mountains. Much of the north limb is progressively tilted, possibly including the Santa Monica Mountains area. We consider this progressive tilting to reflect PlioceneQuaternary thrust slip on the underlying master fault. This progressive tilting is problematic for single-step ramp-flat models and supportive of a listric fault model for the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline. ACCUMULATED SLIP ON THE SANTA MONICACHANNEL ISLAND THRUST FAULT: WESTERN SECTION The implications of the listric thrust model for earthquake hazard estimates can be illustrated by estimating slip near the western end of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust where late Miocene and younger strata are present across much of the fold. An industry seismic reflection profile offers a continuous section across the west-northwesttrending part of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline west of San Miguel Island (Fig. 5). The profile crosses USGS-105, which has a detailed stratigraphic interpretation based on wells (Fig. 1; Sorlien et al., 2000b). The younger strata in Figure 5 are progressively tilted, as expected from foldlimb rotation above a listric fault, according to our model. A late Pliocene onlap surface dates initiation of regional tilting and postdates early Pliocene short-wavelength folding, similar in timing and style to north-verging folds seen in the southeast channel. Therefore, we interpret the fold limb to be entirely the result of shortening (Sorlien et al., 2000a). Two north-dipping panels, 13 and 57 km wide, from northeast to southwest, are also interpreted by us to be part of the same backlimb. This backlimb has been overprinted by numerous structures, including a prominent listric fault dipping north in the northern half of the profile. This low-angle fault is probably at least partly responsible for the 3-kmwide flat separating the dip panels and for the short-wavelength folding (Fig. 5). The Santa Rosa Island and Santa Cruz Island faults, known to have large components of left-lateral slip where they are exposed on the islands (e.g., Pinter et al., 1998a), are imaged as steep faults on opposite limbs of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline and appear to converge below the crest of this anticline. These

faults may be partly responsible for the folding between them, but cannot account for the wide north-dipping fold limb. The northeast-dipping Southwest Channel fault imaged at the base of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline forelimb (Fig. 1) has been interpreted to be a major Miocene normal-separation fault (Fig. 5; Sorlien et al., 2000a). Although the Southwest Channel fault may have been distinct during Miocene time, the anticline in its hanging-wall block is continuous with the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline (Fig. 1). Thus we consider the Southwest Channel fault to now be a thrust fault, the westernmost segment of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust. The Southwest Channel fault in pre-Miocene rocks near the sea floor (Fig. 5) is estimated to dip from 45 to 55 (assuming an interval velocity of 2.53.5 km/s). By neglecting deformation in the hanging-wall block, which may be associated with secondary faulting, we estimate a dip of 58 for the backlimb (Fig. 5B). This is consistent with the 2.4/m.y. late Quaternary tilt rate inferred in the Santa Cruz Island area and with late Pliocene initiation of regional tilting. Thrust reactivation propagated updip, and a broad forelimb developed while the deep fault slipped and the shallow fault was locked. The forelimb formed by consumption of the upper part of the backlimb (W in Fig. 2C), so that backlimb width is likely to be less than expected from a rigid rotation model. Thus we measure instead the distance W = 30 km between the base of the backlimb and the Southwest Channel fault where it intersects prethrusting strata (Figs. 2C and 5B). Assuming a circular listric fault, we obtain a slip between 3.2 and 5.9 km from equation 1 and a detachment depth between 12 and 19 km (including 1 km to account for water and syn-thrust strata) from equation 2. This result is consistent with depths of 1213 km (Keller and Prothero, 1987) and 1116 km (Nicholson et al, 1992) for the top of a high-velocity layer interpreted to be oceanic basement in the general area of the profile in Figure 5A. Formation of a wide forelimb by displacement gradient steepens the upper part of the backlimb (Wickham, 1995), so that the lower estimates for backlimb dip and thrust slip are more likely. The structure in Figure 5 could also be interpreted as two fault-bend folds above two ramps separated by a small flat (as sketched in Fig. 5B). Fault slip in such a model would be at least as great as the width of the wider backlimb (Fig. 2A), or about 13 km. Such an amount of slip or shortening in the buried structure would be several times larger than the shortening that can be accounted for by folding in the hanging wall, and the majority of slip needs be transferred south, beyond the

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Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline. In contrast, the listric model tends to predict relatively less displacement on buried faults responsible for wide and very gently dipping fold limbs and can generally reconcile this slip with shortening in shallow layers. An active blind thrust fault is generally expected to propagate updip, whether it is new or is reactivating a preexisting fault (e.g., Suppe and Medwedeff, 1990). The simple rigid circular listric thrust model in Figure 2C does not account for a propagating fault. Intuitively, a forelimb is expected to form above a buried fault tip (Sibson, 1995; Sorlien and Seeber, 1997). As this fault tip propagates updip and breaches the surface, the active forelimb is expected to narrow and eventually stop tilting. Furthermore, the basal thrust in a classical fold-and-thrust belt propagates forward by developing a new imbricate thrust and abandoning, at least partially, the previous one (Davis et al., 1983). As the belt of convergence widens and matures, surface shortening at a material-fixed site on this belt is likely to be accounted for progressively less by folding and more by faulting. A site in the hanging wall is likely to be transported over a progressively more active basal thrust detachment if propagation of the thrust is more rapid than slip (e.g., Davis et al, 1983; Geiser and Seeber, 1996). Thus, a possible decrease in the rate of tilting in the forelimb of the Santa Monica Mountains anticline in the past ~1 m.y. (Schneider et al., 1996) or 125 ka (Johnson et al., 1996) does not necessarily imply a decrease in the rate of slip of thrust faults below it. On the contrary, an increase in the slip rate of faults below a given location could occur even at a constant convergence rate across the southwestern front of the Transverse Ranges. Alternatively, this rate could be decreasing to balance an increasing convergence rate across the Ventura basin in the past 1 m.y. (Huftile and Yeats, 1995). If so, slip rates inferred from total post-Miocene folding of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline may overestimate the current deformation rate. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The shape of folds is related to the geometry and slip of buried causative fault(s), but this relation is model dependent. PlioceneQuaternary transpression in the western Transverse Ranges was preceded by a Miocene extensional regime controlled by large, gently and moderately dipping, listric normal faults. Regional sedimentary growth wedges require hanging-wall block rotation about horizontal axes and suggest major normal faults with nearly circular listric shapes. We propose that some of the major active thrusts in this area may be reactivated normal faults that preserve their listric shape. Progressive tilting of

backlimbs that developed during the present phase of transpression supports the contention that the thrusts are listric. The ramp-flat fault models that have been widely applied in the western Transverse Ranges are inappropriate for these structures, based on our analysis. Fault slip is proportional to limb length and independent of limb dip in these models. Single-step ramp-flat models applied to wide low-angle backlimbs commonly predict fault displacements that are much larger than the shortening due to folding in the shallow layer above the thrusts. Furthermore, these models cannot account for progressive tilting of backlimbs. We propose instead a listric fault model where fault slip is proportional to limb dip, and expect this slip to produce progressive tilting of the hanging-wall block. The Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline is a 220-km-long structural and topographic high along the southern margin of the western Transverse Ranges that is associated with a 2030-km-wide north-dipping fold limb, most of which has been tilted progressively. We interpret this structure as a backlimb associated with a regional north-dipping thrust fault, the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust (as did Davis and Namson, 1994a). This structure is superimposed on a Pliocene north-verging forelimb in southeast Santa Barbara Channel. By assuming that the shape of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust is circular listric and that the hanging-wall block rotates rigidly, we obtain 3.25.9 km of reverse slip at the western end of the thrust since regional tilting commenced during late Pliocene time. We interpret north-verging Pliocene folding in the eastern Santa Barbara Channel to be in the roof of a thrust wedge propagating south, and that much of the regional north tilting of the continental shelf of the islands is Quaternary. In the early development of the thrust reactivation, therefore, the tip of the fault might have moved updip south of the apex of a wedge between the reactivated fault and an antithetic thrust fault (the Western Deep fault of Novoa, 1998, along the Mid Channel Trend). We do not attempt to estimate total slip or late Quaternary slip on the Santa Monica Mountains thrust because postMiocene strata are not generally present. However, published results are permissive of 12 mm/yr of thrust slip (e.g., Walls et al., 1998). From our results, average slip rates on the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust since the inferred onset of regional tilting during late Pliocene time are low, in the 12 mm/yr range. Because changes in long-term slip rates are possible, the current geological slip rate relevant to earthquake hazard may be better defined from a detailed chronology of progressive tilting. This chronology can be determined by using geomorphology (e.g., Johnson et al., 1996) and de-

tailed stratigraphy where Quaternary strata are preserved (e.g., between Anacapa Island and the Santa Monica Mountains). According to our listric thrust model, the accumulated slip and the inferred long-term slip rate are much less than the rate for the Santa Monica Mountains thrust published by Davis and Namson (1994a) and are similar to the post 1 Ma rate on the Channel Islands thrust proposed by Shaw and Suppe (1994). This similarity is coincidental because the structural model proposed by Shaw and Suppe (1994) is drastically different than our interpretation. There are island-scale irregularities or recesses in the fold limb (Fig 1), perhaps related to effects of northwest-southeast right-lateral faults that intersect the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline from the south. These right-lateral faults are expected to load the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island thrust differentially along strike and possibly segment this fault. A flattening of this thrust fault east of Anacapa Island and east of the Santa CruzCatalina Ridge segment of the San Clemente fault system may reflect this segmentation. Despite this possible segmentation, the timing and evolution of fold development and inferred thrust activity appear to be similar along the entire structure. Thus, we emphasize the continuity, rather than the segmentation, of the Santa Monica MountainsChannel Island anticline in terms of possible maximum-size earthquakes. This structure has a relatively low slip rate and is secondary in terms of moment release, but it may be a primary structure in terms of possible earthquake size. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Nicholas Pinters work on Santa Cruz Island was instrumental in initial recognition of onshoreoffshore tilting. Our interpretation of the section in Figure 4B was influenced by Lynn Tennysons nearby unpublished cross section. Greg Mountain, Peter Geiser, Milene Cormier, John Armbruster, Marc Kamerling, and Jim Galloway contributed with discussions and/or their data. We are grateful to the petroleum industry and to UNOCAL for the profiles in Figure 5 and in Figure 4, respectively, and to the Mineral Management Service for access to public wells and high-resolution seismic profiles. Peter Geiser, Craig Nicholson, Art Sylvester, Lynn Tennyson, Tom Wright, Karl Mueller, and Tom Rockwell reviewed the manuscript and offered valuable suggestions. Seeber was supported by Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) grant USCPO 569934 scope A, USGS grant 1434-95-G-2576, and National Science Foundation (NSF) grant EAR-94-16222. L. Seeber was supported by the SCEC, which is funded by NSF Cooperative Agreement EAR-

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8920136 and USGS Cooperative Agreements 1408-0001-A0899 and 1434-HQ-97AG01718. This is SCEC contribution 501, Lamont-Doherty contribution 6047, and Institute for Crustal Studies contribution 0251-67TC.
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