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Paleoseismological History of the Acambay Graben (Central Mexico)

AuthorsLacan, Pierre; Perea, Héctor ; Rendón, Albeiro
Issue Date10-Dec-2013
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationAGU Fall Meeting: T23C-2591 (2013)
AbstractThe Acambay graben is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) which strikes ESE-WNW across central Mexico, where the major part of the Mexican population is concentrated. The TMVB is an active, calc-alkaline volcanic arc that is related to the subduction of the Rivera and Cocos plates underneath the North American plate. The TMVB contains a series of intra-arc basins that form the Chapala-Tula fault zone (450 km long, 50 km wide). One of these extensive basins, the Acambay graben, is 80 km long and 15 to 30 km wide. It is limited north by the E-W striking Epitacio-Huerta (EHF) and Acambay-Tixmadejé normal faults and south by the Venta de Bravo (VBF) and the Pastores faults (PF) in the south. Other minor active faults are located within the basin, along the axis of the Graben. In the area, the instrumental seismicity is low to moderate, although one major historical earthquake (Ms = 6.9 Acambay event) occurred on November 19, 1912, causing widespread damage. In the last decade, our group has focused on the neotectonic and paleoseismological study of the major faults of the Acambay graben. More than 30 trenches have been dug at 15 sites in order to interpret the paleoseismological history of 7 major faults of the graben. In addition to paleoseismological trench studies, tectonic geomorphology, subsurface geophysics and micro topographic surveys have been used to assess the rupture history. All of the studied faults have to be considered as active faults, with a minimum of 2 to 5 paleoseismic events on each fault during the last 20 ka. Each fault rupture corresponds to a vertical displacement ranging from 1 to 150 centimetres. Considering the size of the observed displacements and the length of active segments, we demonstrate that large earthquakes with magnitude higher than 7 have occurred along some of these faults. Based on paleoseismological results, we calculate a major earthquake recurrence interval ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 years over a time span (~20 ka). These recurrence values overpass the Mexican historical seismicity catalogue that incorporates no more than the last 500 years. This suggests that most of the faults of the TMVB may be active despite the lack of known historical destructive events and could be able to produce earthquakes with serious consequences in the most populated area of Mexico
DescriptionLacan, Pierre ... et. al.-- American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, 9-13 December 2013, San Francisco
Publisher version (URL)http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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