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Seismic crisis reveals the development of an incipient continental fault system in the Alboran sea

AuthorsGràcia, Eulàlia ; Grevemeyer, Ingo; Bartolomé, Rafael ; Perea, Héctor ; Martínez-Loriente, S. ; Gómez de la Peña, L. ; Villaseñor, Antonio ; Klinger, Yann; Lo Iacono, Claudio ; Díez Tagarró, Susana ; Calahorrano, Alcinoe ; Camafort Blanco, Miquel; Costa, Sergio ; D'Acremont, E.; Rabaute, Alain; Ranero, César R.
Issue DateJun-2019
Citation4th Fault2SHA Workshop (2019)
AbstractLarge continental faults extend for thousands of kilometres to form tectonic boundaries between plates, often associated with prominent topographic features. In these active areas, well-defined faults produce large earthquakes, and thus imply a high seismic hazard. These paradigms are called into question in the Alboran Sea, which hosts an allegedly complex diffuse boundary between the Eurasia and Nubia plates, and we discovered one of the few examples worldwide of the initial stages of these key tectonic structures. On the 25th January 2016, a magnitude Mw 6.4 submarine earthquake struck the north of the Moroccan coast, the largest event ever recorded in the Alboran Sea. The quake was preceded by an earthquake of magnitude Mw 5.1 and was followed by numerous aftershocks whose locations mainly migrated to the south. The mainshock nucleated at a releasing bend of the poorly known Al-Idrissi Fault System (AIFS). Here we combine newly acquired multi-scale bathymetric and seismic reflection data with a resolution, together with seismological data of the 2016 Mw 6.4 earthquake offshore Morocco –the largest event recorded in the area –to unveil the 3D geometry of the AIFS. We found that the AIFS is a crustal-scale boundary. We report evidence of left-lateral strike-slip displacement, characterize their fault segments and demonstrate that the AIFS is the source of the 2016 events. The occurrence of the Mw 6.4 earthquake and previous events of 1994 and 2004 supports that the AIFS is currently growing through propagation and linkage of its segments. The AIFS provides a unique model of the inception and growth of a young plate boundary. (Waiting for acceptance in NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 2019)
Description4th Fault2SHA Workshop, Fault Complex Interaction: Characterization and Integration into Seismic Hazard Assessment (SHA), 3-5 June 2019, Barcelona
Publisher version (URL)http://fault2sha.net/
Appears in Collections:(UTM) Comunicaciones congresos
(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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