Geodetic determination of relative plate motion in central California


  • J. C. Savage,

  • R. O. Burford


Geodetic data along the San Andreas fault between Parkfield and San Francisco, California (latitudes 36°N and 38°N, respectively), have been re-examined to estimate the current relative movement between the American and Pacific plates across the San Andreas fault system. The average relative right lateral motion is estimated to be 32 ± 5 mm/yr for the period 1907–1971. Between 36°N and 37°N it appears that most, if not all, of the plate motion is accommodated by fault creep. Although strain is presumably accumulating north of 37°N (San Francisco Bay area), the geodetic evidence for accumulation is not conclusive.