The Dragon's Back Pressure Ridge is an amazing landform along the San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain of California. A recent paper in Science by Hurst, et al. examined it to explore how hillslope form might be used to indicate waxing and waning responses to a pulse of rock uplift. George Hilley (a coauthor on the recent paper) and I along with David Pollard and Dallas D. Rhodes have spent more than 20 years pondering and exploring the Dragon's Back. With this blog entry I want to highlight a few links for more information.
This is the main published paper on the Dragon's Back up to now: Hilley, G. E., and Arrowsmith J R., Geomorphic response to uplift along the Dragon's Back pressure ridge, Carrizo Plain, California, Geology, v. 36; no. 5; p. 367–370; doi: 10.1130/G24517A.1, 2008.
- Arrowsmith, JR, 1995, Coupled Tectonic Deformation and Geomorphic Degrada tion along the San Andreas Fault Zone [Dissertation thesis]: Stanford, Stanford University.
- Hilley, G. E., 2001, Landscape development of tectonically active areas [Dissertation thesis]: Arizona State University.
Hillshades and digital elevation model (B4 project data processed by OpenTopography):
- Hillshade for Google Earth (KMZ)
- Poster-sized view of the Dragon's Back
- Dragon's Back 1 m Digital Surface Model and ArcMap project and simplified movie (latter from George Hilley)
- A review of early investigations along the San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain (from Arrowsmith, 1995)
- Field photographs I
- San Andreas Fault tour video (shows location)
- Dragons Back ArcScene movie 1, Dragons Back ArcScene movie 2, Dragons Back ArcScene movie 3
- Lecture on Understanding geomorphic response to uplift: Dragon's Back Pressure Ridge
- Field video overview of the Dragon's Back (low quality video)
- Examples from a short course on high resolution topography. See also this video.
The digital elevation models that enabled much of the analysis discussed here come from the B4 project and the data and models are available from OpenTopography.
The B4 project created an unprecedentedly accurate surface model along the San Andreas and San Jacinto Faults in southern California that enabled the research reported here. It was supported by the U. S. National Science Foundation and led by Ohio State University and the U. S. Geological Survey. The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping performed the airborne data acquisition and laser data processing. Optech International generously contributed use of the ALTM3100 laser scanner system. UNAVCO and SCIGN assisted in GPS ground control and continuous high rate GPS data acquisition. A group of volunteers from USGS, UCSD, UCLA, Caltech and private industry, as well as gracious landowners along the fault zones, also made the project possible.