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Refining seismic parameters in low seismicity areas by 3D trenching: The Alhama de Murcia fault, SE Iberia

AuthorsFerrater, M.; Ortuño, María; Masana, E.; Pallàs, R.; Perea, Héctor ; Baize, S.; García Meléndez, E.; Martínez-Díaz, J. J. ; Echeverria, A.; Rockwell, T.; Sharp, Warren D.; Medialdea, Alicia; Rhodes, Edward J.
Strike-slip fault
Slip rate
Slip per event
SE Iberian Peninsula
Issue Date14-May-2016
CitationTectonophysics, 680: 122–128 (2016)
AbstractThree-dimensional paleoseismology in strike-slip faults with slip rates less than 1 mm per year involves a great methodological challenge. We adapted 3D trenching to track buried channels offset by the Alhama de Murcia seismogenic left-lateral strike-slip fault (SE Iberia). A fault net slip of 0.9 ± 0.1 mm/yr was determined using statistical analysis of piercing lines for one buried channel, whose age is constrained between 15.2 ± 1.1 ka and 21.9–22.3 cal BP. This value is larger and more accurate than the previously published slip rates for this fault. The minimum number of five paleo-earthquakes identified since the deposition of dated layers suggests a maximum average recurrence interval of approximately 5 ka. The combination of both seismic parameters yields a maximum slip per event between 5.3 and 6.3 m. We show that accurately planned trenching strategies and data processing may be key to obtaining robust paleoseismic parameters in low seismicity areas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2016.05.020
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