This part of DS 781 presents data for folds for the geologic and geomorphic map of the Offshore of Fort Ross map area, California. The vector data file is included in "Folds_OffshoreFortRoss.zip," which is accessible from http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/781/OffshoreFortRoss/data_catalog_OffshoreFortRoss.html
The Offshore of Fort Ross map area is cut by the northwest-trending San Andreas Fault, the right-lateral transform boundary between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates. The San Andreas extends across the inner shelf in the southern part of the map, then crosses the shoreline at Fort Ross and continues onland for about 75 km to the east flank of Point Arena (fig. 8-1). Seismic-reflection data are used to map the offshore fault trace, and reveal a relatively simple, 200- to 500-m wide zone typically characterized by one or two primary strands. About 1500 m west of the San Andreas Fault, the mid shelf (between water depths of 40 m and 70 m) in the southernmost part of the map area includes an about 5-km-wide field of elongate, shore-normal sediment lobes (unit Qmsl). Individual lobes within the field are as much as 650-m long and 200-m wide, have as much as 1.5 m (check with Steve) of relief above the surrounding smooth seafloor, and are commonly connected with upslope chutes. Given their morphology and proxmity to the San Andreas fault, we infer that these lobes result from slope failures associated with strong ground motions triggered by large San Andreas earthquakes.
Movement on the San Andreas has juxtaposed different coastal bedrock blocks (Blake and others, 2002). Rocks east of the fault that occur along the coast and in the nearshore belong to the late Tertiary, Cretaceous, and Jurassic Franciscan Complex, either sandstone of the Coastal Belt or Central Belt (unit TKfs) or melange of the central terrane (unit fsr). Bedrock west of the fault are considered part of the Gualala Block (Elder, 1998) and include the Eocene and Paleocene German Rancho Formation (unit Tgr) and the Miocene sandstone and mudstone of the Fort Ross area (unit Tsm).
This section of the San Andreas Fault onland has an estimated slip rate of about 17 to 25 mm/yr (Bryant and Lundberg, 2002). The devastating Great 1906 California earthquake (M 7.8) is thought to have nucleated on the San Andreas Fault about 100 kilometers south of this map area offshore of San Francisco (e.g., Bolt, 1968; Lomax, 2005), with the rupture extending northward through the Offshore of Fort Ross map area to the south flank of Cape Mendocino. Emergent marine terraces along the coast in the Offshore of Fort Ross map area record recent contractional deformation associated with the San Andreas Fault system. Prentice and Kelson (2006) report uplift rates of 0.3 to 0.6 mm/yr for a late Pleistocene terrace exposed at Fort Ross, and this recent uplift must also have affect the nearshore and inner shelf.
Previously, McCulloch (1987) mapped a nearshore (within 3 to 5 km of the coast) fault zone from Point Arena to Fort Ross (Fig. 8-1) using primarily deeper industry seismic-reflection data. Subsequently, Dickinson and others (2005) named this structure the "Gualala Fault." Our mapping, also based on seismic-reflection data, reveals this structure as a steep, northeast trending fault and similarly shows the fault ending to the south in the northern part of the Offshore of Fort Ross map area. We have designated the zone of faulting and folding above this structure the "Gualala Fault deformation zone."
Folds were primarily mapped by interpretation of seismic reflection profile data (see field activity S-8-09-NC). The seismic reflection profiles were collected between 2007 and 2010.
Blake, M.C., Jr., Graymer, R.W., and Stamski, R.E., 2002, Geologic map and map database of western Sonoma, northernmost Marin, and southernmost Mendocino counties, California: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map 2402, scale 1:100,000.
Bolt, B.A., 1968, The focus of the 1906 California earthquake: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 58, p. 457-471.
Bryant, W.A., and Lundberg, M.M., compilers, 2002, Fault number 1b, San Andreas fault zone, North Coast section, in Quaternary fault and fold database of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey website, accessed April 4, 2013, at http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/hazards/qfaults
Dickinson, W.R., Ducea, M., Rosenberg, L.I., Greene, H.G., Graham, S.A., Clark, J.C., Weber, G.E., Kidder, S., Ernst, W.G., and Brabb, E.E., 2005, Net dextral slip, Neogene San Gregorio-Hosgri Fault Zone, coastal California: Geologic evidence and tectonic implications: Geological Society of America Special Paper 391, 43 p.
Elder, W.P., ed., 1998, Geology and tectonics of the Gualala Block, northern California: Pacific Section, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Book 84, 222 p.
Lomax, A., 2005, A reanalysis of the hypocentral location and related observations for the Great 1906 California earthquake: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 95, p. 861-877.
McCulloch, D.S., 1987, Regional geology and hydrocarbon potential of offshore central California, in Scholl, D.W., Grantz, A., and Vedder, J.G., eds., Geology and Resource Potential of the Continental Margin of Western North America and Adjacent Oceans -- Beaufort Sea to Baja California: Houston, Texas, Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources, Earth Science Series, v. 6., p. 353-401.
Prentice, C.S., and Kelson, K.I., 2006, The San Andreas fault in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, in Prentice, C.S., Scotchmoor, J.G., Moores, E.M., and Kiland, J.P., eds., 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Centennial Field Guides: Field trips associated with the 100th Anniversary Conference, 18-23 April 2006, San Francisco, California: Geological Society of America Field Guide 7, p. 127-156.
Map political location: San Mateo County, California
Compilation scale: 1:24,000
Base maps used are hillshades generated from IfSAR, LiDAR, and multibeam
mapping both onshore and offshore (see Bathymetry--Offshore of Fort Ross Map Area, California).