San Andreas Fault at Wallace Creek and Parkfield, CA



Sinan Akciz, California State University-Fullerton
Brian Olson, California Geological Survey
Julian Lozos, California State University-Northridge

Wallace Creek, located along the Carrizo section of the San Andreas Fault, is the classic site where offset channels have first been recognized and utilized for determining dates and magnitudes of past earthquakes, as well their timing. During this portion of the trip, will look at offset and beheaded channels and review our present day understanding of the earthquake history along this section of the San Andreas Fault. Participants will have the option to make offset measurements on abandoned channels. A trip this far from Pasadena could not be complete if the town of Parkfield is not visited. Here, we will show evidence of a fault creep and talk about its implications. After the completion of the field activities at both locations, participants will have a clearer understanding of geomorphological expressions of strike-slip faults with different rupture behaviors and get familiar with different methods of collecting paleoseismic data that contribute to the calculation seismic hazard.

Space is limited. Registration for this field trip will be made available as soon as possible. You may register for the Earth Educators' Rendezvous now and register for this field trip at a later date so you are able to secure your spot in particular morning workshop(s).


  • Departure: Participants should meet at 7am for departure. Meeting location TBA, but will be near PCC and Caltech
  • Return: Shuttles will arrive back in Pasadena by 7:00pm.
  • Releases: All participants will need to sign liability releases.
  • Attire:Wear comfortable hot-weather clothing, hiking footwear, and a hat. Bring water, and sunscreen.

Tentative Itinerary

  • The field trip will take place at Wallace Creek located within the Carrizo National Monument and Parkfield. More information to follow.

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