Offset Channels May Not Accurately Record Strike-Slip Fault Displacement: Evidence From Landscape Evolution Models
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

For very narrow results

When looking for a specific result

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Document Data
Clear All
Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Offset Channels May Not Accurately Record Strike-Slip Fault Displacement: Evidence From Landscape Evolution Models

Filetype[PDF-14.26 MB]

Select the Download button to view the document
This document is over 5mb in size and cannot be previewed


  • Journal Title:
    Journal Of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
  • Personal Author:
  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    Slip distribution, slip rate, and slip per event for strike‐slip faults are commonly determined by correlating offset stream channels—under the assumption that they record seismic slip—but offset channels are formed by the interplay of tectonic and geomorphic processes. To constrain offset channel development under known tectonic and geomorphic conditions, we use numerical landscape evolution simulations along a theoretical strike‐slip fault with uniform and steady uplift, erosion, and diffusion. We investigate the influence of four tectonic parameters (fault zone width, earthquake recurrence interval, variance of the recurrence interval, and total slip relative to channel spacing) on offset channel development through multiple earthquake cycles. Analysis of >3,000 automatically measured offsets from >135 simulations suggests ~30% variability in individual measurements, but modeled displacement is recovered by averaging multiple measurements. However, the average of multiple offset measurements systematically underestimates modeled slip except when the fault zone is less than ~5 m wide, total slip is less than channel spacing, and offsets are measured shortly after an earthquake. In these simulations, postearthquake landscape evolution widens the geomorphic expression of the fault zone and modifies apparent channel offsets. We distinguish this “geomorphic fault zone” from the tectonic fault zone (zone of coseismic distributed deformation). This study highlights the capability of landscape evolution models to explore a range of conditions not easily defined in natural examples and the importance of averaging multiple measurements. Our results verify that paleoseismic studies must consider how geomorphic change has modified offset markers and use caution interpreting slip histories with multiple earthquakes.
  • Keywords:
  • Source:
    JGR Solid Earth (2019). 124(12): 13427-13451
  • DOI:
  • Document Type:
  • Rights Information:
  • Compliance:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • Download URL:
  • File Type:

Supporting Files

  • No Additional Files
More +

Related Documents