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Kinematic analysis of secondary faults within a distributed shear-zone reveals fault linkage and increased seismic hazard

Perea, Hector; Gràcia, Eulàlia; Martínez-Loriente, Sara; Bartolome, Rafael; de la Peña, Laura Gómez; de Mol, Ben; Moreno, Ximena; Lo Iacono, Claudio; Diez, Susana; Tello, Olvido; Gómez-Ballesteros, María; Dañobeitia, Juan José. 2018 Kinematic analysis of secondary faults within a distributed shear-zone reveals fault linkage and increased seismic hazard. Marine Geology, 399. 23-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2018.02.002

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Abstract/Summary

Complex multifault earthquake ruptures involving secondary faults emphasize the necessity to characterize their seismogenic potential better and study their relationship with major faults to improve the seismic hazard assessment of a region. High-resolution geophysical data were interpreted to make a detailed characterization of the Averroes Fault and the North Averroes Faults, which are poorly known secondary right-lateral strike-slip faults located in the central part of the Alboran Sea (western Mediterranean). These faults appear to have evolved since the Pliocene as part of a distributed dextral strike-slip shear zone in response to local strain engendered by the diverging movement of the Carboneras Fault to the north, and the Yusuf and Alboran Ridge faults to the south. In addition, the architecture of these faults suggests that the Averroes Fault may eventually link with the Yusuf fault, thus leading to a higher seismogenic potential. Therefore, these secondary faults represent a hitherto unrecognized seismogenic hazard since they could produce earthquakes up to moment magnitude (Mw) 7.6. Our results highlight the importance of the role played by secondary faults in a specific kinematic framework. Their reciprocal linkage and their mechanical relationship with the main faults could lead to future complex fault ruptures. This information could improve fault source and earthquake models used in seismic and tsunami hazard assessment in this and similar regions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2018.02.002
ISSN: 00253227
Date made live: 16 May 2018 10:56 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/520086

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