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Imperial Fault Zone

United States Geological Survey map with the Imperial Fault Zone outlined in red

The Imperial Fault Zone is a system of geological faults located in Imperial County in the Southern California region, along the border of the United States and Mexico.


  • Geology 1
  • Earthquake History 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The Imperial Fault Zone is a right lateral-moving strike slip fault, representing the northernmost transform fault associated with the East Pacific Rise. It is connected to the San Andreas Fault by the Brawley Seismic Zone. It terminates on its southern end at the Cerro Prieto spreading center.

The Imperial Fault Zone is thought to accommodate slip from both the San Andreas and the San Jacinto fault zones. However, studies covering the last few hundred years show that the slip rate is insufficient to account for the total slip from the San Andreas system.[1] The surface trace is well-located based on mapped surface offsets from historic events.

Earthquake History

The Imperial Fault Zone has a history of earthquakes of moderate magnitude, including several doublet earthquakes.

See also


  1. ^ Treiman, J.Jerome, compiler, 1999, Fault number 132, Imperial fault, in Quaternary fault and fold database of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey website,
  2. ^ United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527
  • , Thomas and Rockwell (1996)A 300- to 550-year history of slip on the Imperial fault near the U.S.-Mexico border

External links

  • Southern California Earthquake Data Center website: Imperial Fault Zone.

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