A Continental-scale Seismic Observatory

1101_Salton Trough

Salton Seismic Imaging Project: Rift Processes and Seismic Hazards

Principal Investigators and Institutions:

Station Map

John Hole, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Joann Stock, California Institute of Technology

Gary Fuis, USGS- Menlo Park

Funding Source:

Marine Geology and Geophysics

Field Dates: 

2/2011 – 3/2011

Equipment Used:


Data Status:

Archive in Progress

Assembled ID:  



Station Map

The project will address the processes of rupturing of continental lithosphere through seismic reflection and refraction survey of the Salton Trough. This is an ideal location to study the effect of magmatism and sedimentation on continental extension and the portioning of the strain vertically in the lithosphere. The objectives of the study are to investigate the nature of the transitional crust at rifted continental margins; the role of magmatism in final stages of breakup; the effect of synrift sedimentation on magmatism and extension mechanism; the portioning and displacement in highly oblique continental rifting; and 3D structure for earthquake hazard evaluation.


The broader impacts include addressing important goals of the MARGINS RCL initiative and contribute towards the goals of Earthscope as well as GeoSwath initatives. It uses Earthscope instrumention. It will foster strong collaboration between MARGINS, Earthscope and USGS, and involve undergraduate and graduate students in the field experiment. It will also incorporate the experiment into a graduate level course, and involve students in the interpretation of the data once it is collected.

Publications/ Abstracts

Feng, H. S., J. A. Hole, G. S. Fuis and J. M. Stock. "Designing shots for the 2010 seismic refraction and reflection survey in the Salton Trough, southern California," EOS Trans. AGU, Fall Mtg. Suppl., Abstr. T11A-1846, v.89, 2008.

Hole, J. A., J. M. Stock, and G. S. Fuis. "Controlled-source seismic imaging of rift processes and earthquake hazards in the Salton Trough," EOS Trans. AGU, Fall Mtg. Suppl., Abstr. S11C-1760, v.89, 2008.

Hole, J. A., Stock, J. M., Fuis, G. S., Rymer, M. J., Murphy, J. M., Sickler, R. R., Criley, C. J., Goldman, M. R., Catchings, R. D., Ricketts, J. W., Gonzalez-Fernandez, A., Driscoll, N. W., Kent, G. M., Harding, A. J., and Klemperer, S. L.. "The Salton Seismic Imaging Project (SSIP): Rift processes and earthquake hazards in the Salton Trough," EOS Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract T31A-1790, v.90, 2009.

Murphy, J. M., Rymer, M. J., Fuis, G. S., Stock, J. M., Goldman, M., Sickler, R. R., Miller, S. A., Criley, C. J., Ricketts, J. W, and Hole, J. A.. "Calibration shots recorded for the Salton Seismic Imaging Project, Salton Trough, California," EOS Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, Fall Meeting Suppl., Abstract T31A-1791, v.90, 2009.