|Abstract||The Skipjack Island fault zone has been mapped in the San Juan Islands between Vancouver Island, Canada, and the Washington State mainland, USA. A decade ago, interpretation of multibeam sonar seafloor
imagery revealed that Skipjack Island, an eastÐwest striking sedimentary bedrock outcrop, was a fault-controlled structural feature. A major fault separates Skipjack Island from a deformed sedimentary bedrock outcrop on the seafloor to the north.
Recently the Skipjack Island fault zone's morphology and extent have been explored both to the west and east of the island using multibeam echosounder bathymetry, seismic reflection profiles, and sediment cores. The character of the Skipjack Island
fault zone is well defined locally by the interpreted seismic-reflection profiles, which show active faults that displace sediments deposited since the Last Glacial Maximum. The central part of the fault zone, near Skipjack Island, appears as a
near-vertical structure in the shallow subsurface that has been subjected to left-lateral motion as evidenced by a bedrock exposure on the seabed north of the island where folded strata bend eastward against the fault, the result of drag from fault
motion. Interpretations of recent geophysical data suggest an extension of the Skipjack Island fault zone farther to the west, where it trends towards, and possibly connects with, the Fulford Fault on Vancouver Island, and to the east, where it
either terminates north of Lummi Island, or continues eastward onto the mainland. The Skipjack Island fault zone is interpreted to be the northern boundary of the San Juan Archipelago with the Devils Mountain fault zone being the southern boundary.
Both fault zones represent the longest continuous faults of the San Juan Archipelago. This newly mapped fault zone and its zone of deformation to the north may represent the northern boundary of the Cascadia forearc. Potential sesimicity of the
Skipjack Island fault zone and its proximity to the steep unstable northeastern side of Orcas Island and the southern front of the Fraser River Delta poses a geohazads problem in the form of earthquakes, landslides, submarine slides, and tsunamis. ©