Near-surface in situ stress. 1. Strain relaxation measurements along the San Andreas fault in southern California.

M. L. Sbar, R. M. Richardson, C. Flaccus, T. Engelder

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9 Scopus citations


Strain relaxation stress measurements were made in the Mojave Desert southeast of Palmdale, California, at two sites during the summers of 1979 and 1980, using the U.S. Bureau of Mines technique to depths of about 30 m. The field data and finite element modeling studies demonstrate that thermally induced stess dominates the results obtained in the upper 6 m. At depths greater than 6 m essentially the same approx NNW orientation is recovered by three different techniques which sample to different depths and over different areal extents, which argues strongly for a contemporary tectonic origin for the stress. Finite element models of the San Andreas fault in southern California develop a stress field similar to that observed regionally away from the fault when displacements corresponding to relative motion between lithospheric plates are applied on the boundaries of the models. Near the fault, however, the model principal stresses are rotated counterclockwise similar to those measured near Palmdale, demonstrating the influence of the faults on the principal stress orientations. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9323-9332
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB11
StatePublished - 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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