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The thesis presents and evaluates five new gravity constrained structural cross-sections about the Palos Verdes and Cabrillo faults of southern California. They both have been active since the Miocene, however the Palos Verdes fault zone is considered to be a greater seismic hazard. Using geologic, gravity and seismic data we present new interpretations about the geometry of the Palos Verdes and Cabrillo faults. In the San Pedro and Los Angeles Harbor region approximately125 new gravity data were collected with a Worden gravimeter and new structural cross-sections were constructed by using data of our gravity surveying. The collected data displays a Simple Bouguer gravity anomaly high near the Cabrillo fault and northwards toward the Palos Verdes fault there is an approximately 30 mGal decrease. The Palos Verdes fault itself is characterized by an inflection in the gravity data and a relatively flat zone immediately to the north. This shelf in the gravity data is important because the highly productive Wilmington Oil Field is located in this area and it is likely a product of the particular geometry in the region. The Palos Verdes fault also forms the edge of the larger Los Angeles Basin. Our basic interpretation is that the Palos Verdes and Cabrillo faults are primarily strike slip faults. However, a horst-like block between the two faults has been uplifted and horizontally shortened. Our main interpretation is that Catalina Schist basement uplift and subsequent basin fill to the north is responsible for the large negative gravity anomalies associated with the Palos Verdes fault.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
David W. Farris, Professor Directing Thesis; James F. Tull, Committee Member; Stephen Kish, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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