Figure 6.1 shows the location of the network, its relationship to the San Andreas fault, sites of significance from previous and ongoing research using the HRSN, double-difference relocated earthquake locations from 1987-1998, routine locations of seismicity from August 2002 to July 2003, nonvolcanic tremor locations from January 2001 through April 2005, and the epicenter of the 1966 and 2004 M6 earthquakes that motivated much of the research. The HRSN records exceptionally high-quality data, owing to its 13 closely spaced three-component borehole sensors (generally emplaced in the extremely low attenuation and background noise environment at 200 to 300 m depth (Table 6.1), its high-frequency wide bandwidth recordings (0-100 Hz), and its low magnitude detection threshold (below magnitude -1.0).
Several aspects of the Parkfield region make it ideal for the study of small earthquakes and nonvolcanic tremors and their relationship to tectonic processes and large earthquakes. These include the fact that the network spans the expected nucleation region of a repeating magnitude 6 event and a significant portion of the transition from locked to creeping behavior on the San Andreas fault, the availability of three-dimensional P and S velocity models (Michelini and McEvilly, 1991), the existing long-term HRSN seismicity catalogue that is complete to very low magnitudes and that includes at least half of the M6 seismic cycle, a well-defined and simple fault segment, the existence of deep nonvolcanic tremor (NVT) activity, and a homogeneous mode of seismic energy release as indicated by the earthquake source mechanisms (over 90% right-lateral strike-slip).
In a series of journal articles and Ph.D. theses, we have presented the cumulative, often unexpected, results of U.C. Berkeley's HRSN research efforts (see: http://www.seismo.berkeley.edu/seismo/faq/parkfield_bib.html). They trace the evolution of a new and exciting picture of the San Andreas fault zone responding to its plate-boundary loading, and they are forcing new thinking on the dynamic processes and conditions within the fault zone at the sites of recurring small earthquakes and deep nonvolcanic tremors.
The Parkfield area has also become an area of focus of the EarthScope Project through the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) experiment. SAFOD is a comprehensive project to drill into the hypocentral zone of repeating M 2 earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault at a depth of about 3 km. The goals of SAFOD are to establish a multi-stage geophysical observatory in close proximity to these repeating earthquakes, to carry out a comprehensive suite of down-hole measurements in order to study the physical and chemical conditions under which earthquakes occur and to exhume rock and fluid samples for extensive laboratory studies (Hickman et al., 2004).
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