Southern California Earthquake Data Center

Significant Earthquakes and Faults

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Fault Name Index

Pleito Fault

Type of Fault: thrust
Length: 45 km
Nearest Communities: Grapevine, Wheeler Ridge
Most Recent Surface Rupture: between 345 and 1465 years ago along eastern half; Quaternary along western half
Slip Rate: 1.4 mm/yr
Interval Between Major Ruptures: uncertain
Probable Magnitudes: MW6.3 - 7.3
Other Notes: This south-dipping thrust fault is part of a complex zone of thrust faults and folds which mark part of the southern end of the great Central Valley of California. The Pleito thrust may be connected at depth with the nearby, and similar, Wheeler Ridge fault. At the eastern end of the fault (as mapped), it may dive below the surface as a blind thrust, forming the northern scarp of the Tehachapi Mountains. Such a relation is only hypothetical, at best, however. Whatever the case, the potential for damage posed by the Pleito thrust is significant. Motion along this fault could make Interstate 5 impassable at "the Grapevine", where it comes down from Tejon Pass and into the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, and this would block the primary northern transportation route to and from Los Angeles.



This fault is featured on the following map:
Northwest Fault Map