A deep scientific drilling experiment in San Andreas fault zone would provide data essential to understanding the structure, composition, mechanical behavior, and physical state of an active, major plate-boundary fault. Toward this end, we are working with an international team of scientists and engineers to propose a long-term, integrated program of surface-based geological and geophysical investigations and deep drilling along the San Andreas fault system.

Prior to drilling, a suite of comparative geodynamic models will be developed incorporating detailed investigations of geology, crustal structure, geophysical environment, hydrology, seismotectonics, and fault-movement history at each of the candidate sites. These studies will have a major impact on our understanding of the structure and physical properties of the San Andreas fault system and will form a critical framework for applying the knowledge gained in a deep San Andreas borehole to other segments of the fault and other tectonic environments.