Significant Earthquakes and Faults
Fault Name Index
Airport Lake Fault Zone
Type of Faulting: normal; some right-lateral strike-slip
Dimensions: roughly 15 km (east to west) by 35 km (north to south)
Nearby Communities: China Lake, Ridgecrest
Most Recent Rupture: September 20, 1995, ML5.8, in part; otherwise, Holocene
Slip Rate: about 1 mm/yr (?)
Interval Between Major Ruptures: unknown
Probable Magnitudes: ML5.5 - 6.5
Other Notes: Intersects complexly with the Little Lake fault zone in the Indian Wells Valley.
A highly fragmented zone of short fault segments, the Airport Lake fault zone has been quite active in recent years. The Ridgecrest earthquake sequence involved slip on at least four faults on the eastern edge of the fault zone, and several other earthquake swarms have occured within this and the adjacent Little Lake fault zone since 1980. The region has good reason for its elevated seismic activity -- it is on the western edge of the Basin and Range tectonic province and it sits roughly along the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ).