Response of desert pavement to seismic shaking, Hector Mine earthquake, California, 1999
, Journal Article
Published in: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
 The October 1999 Mw 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake in the Mojave Desert, California, generated characteristic surface disturbances on nearby desert pavements. These disturbances included (1) zones of wholesale gravel displacement interspersed with zones of intact pavement, (2) displaced and .rotated cobbles, (3) moats around loosened, embedded boulders, (4) filling of abandoned cobble sockets, boulder moats, and other depressions with gravel, and (5) formation of narrow, subparallel, linear strips of exposed fine-grained subpavement matrix (matrix lineations). Clasts displaced from matrix lineations and from cobble sockets tended to move downslope. Sharp boundaries of matrix lineations and slope-controlled displacement directions on slopes of only a few degrees indicated that clasts remained close to the pavement surface during shaking. The regular, few decimeter spacing of matrix lineations suggests the presence of standing waves during seismic shaking. Boulder moats probably have good preservation potential and, at some desert pavement locations, might provide information on paleoseismic shaking. Although readily produced by coseismic shaking, displaced cobbles are unreliable indicators of past earthquake activity because of potential multiple origins. For an assumed earthquake recurrence interval of 10 ka, seismically driven sediment fluxes similar to those generated by the Hector Mine earthquake at the Lavic Siding pavement study site may be marginally competitive with aseismic smoothing mechanisms driven by bioturbation, rainbeat, and wash. For a 1 ka recurrence interval, seismic smoothing is likely to play a significant role in pavement evolution. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.