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Aftershocks series monitoring of the September 18, 2004 M = 4.6 earthquake at the western Pyrenees: A case of reservoir-triggered seismicity?

AuthorsRuiz Fernández, Mario ; Gaspà Rebull, Oriol; Gallart Muset, Josep ; Diaz, J. ; Pulgar, J. A.; García-Sansegundo, J.; López-Fernández, C.; González-Cortina, J.M.
Issue Date2006
CitationTectonophysics 424: 223- 243 (2006)
AbstractOn September 18, 2004, a 4.6 mbLg earthquake was widely felt in the region around Pamplona, at the western Pyrenees. Preliminary locations reported an epicenter less than 20 km ESE of Pamplona and close to the Itoiz reservoir, which started impounding in January 2004. The area apparently lacks of significant seismic activity in recent times. After the main shock, which was preceded by series of foreshocks reaching magnitudes of 3.3 mbLg, a dense temporal network of 13 seismic stations was deployed there to monitor the aftershocks series and to constrain the hypocentral pattern. Aftershock determinations obtained with a double-difference algorithm define a narrow epicentral zone of less than 10 km2, ESE-WNW oriented. The events are mainly concentrated between 3 and 9 km depth. Focal solutions were computed for the main event and 12 aftershocks including the highest secondary one of 3.8 mbLg. They show mainly normal faulting with some strike-slip component and one of the nodal planes oriented NW-SE and dipping to the NE. Cross-correlation techniques applied to detect and associate events with similar waveforms, provided up to 33 families relating the 67% of the 326 relocated aftershocks. Families show event clusters grouped by periods and migrating from NW to SE. Interestingly, the narrow epicentral zone inferred here is located less than 4 km away from the 111-m high Itoiz dam. These hypocentral results, and the correlation observed between fluctuations of the reservoir water level and the seismic activity, favour the explanation of this foreshock-aftershock series as a rapid response case of reservoir-triggered seismicity, burst by the first impoundment of the Itoiz reservoir. The region is folded and affected by shallow dipping thrusts, and the Itoiz reservoir is located on the hangingwall of a low angle southward verging thrust, which might be a case sensible to water level fluctuations. However, continued seismic monitoring in the coming years is mandatory in this area to infer more reliable seismotectonic and hazard assessments. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2006.03.037
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2006.03.037
issn: 0040-1951
Appears in Collections:(ICTJA) Artículos
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