Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Small faults in southeast Spain reduce earthquake risk of larger ones

27.11.2009
A team of Spanish scientists, studying recent, active deformations in the Baetic mountain range, have shown that the activity of smaller tectonic structures close to larger faults in the south east of the Iberian Peninsula partially offsets the risk of earthquakes.

"There are large faults in the eastern part of the Baetic mountain range, which are active and occasionally cause moderate, low magnitude earthquakes (measuring less than 5 on the Richter scale)", Antonio Pedrera, lead author of the study and a researcher in the Department of Geodynamics at the University of Granada (UGR), tells SINC.

The team's research, published recently in the Journal of Quaternary Science, involved studying the La Molata sector, near Albox, in Almeria, near the southern end of the active Alhama de Murcia fault. The authors say this sector has been deformed by small faults and folds that are growing progressively.

"Although we can't exclude the possibility that these direction faults could cause earthquakes of greater magnitude, we have shown that the formation of small tectonic structures helps to partially relax the energy associated with the convergence of plates, and reduces seismic activity in these larger faults", says Pedrera.

The secrets of rodent fossils

By studying mammal fossils, Antonio Ruiz Bustos, co-author of the study and a researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences (UGR) has been able to date inverse faults and active folds near the town of Albox.

Some of the fossils found in the faults have included the molars of Mimomys Sabin (a small rodent that lived in wetland areas between 950,000 and 830,000 years ago), which have allowed him to measure the horizontal narrowing of the faults at 0.006 milimetres/year.

The scientists have combined the dating of deformed sediments with other surface geological data, such as geological mapping, cinematic analysis of the structures, geophysical prospecting and geomorphological analysis, in order to evaluate what role these faults have played in causing earthquakes during the Quaternary (from 1.8 million years ago to the present day).

Nine million years ago, the eastern part of the Baetic mountain range was deformed by numerous folds and faults, caused by the collision of the Eurasian and African plates.

Currently, some of these tectonic structures are still developing, but available data on the location of earthquakes suggest that their seismic activity is dispersed and moderate.

References:

Pedrera, Antonio; Galindo-Zaldivar, Jesús; Ruiz-Bustos, Antonio; Rodríguez-Fernández, José; Ruiz-Constan, Ana. "The role of small-scale fold and fault development in seismogenic zones: example of the western Huercal-Overa Basin (eastern Betic Cordillera, Spain)" Journal of Quaternary Science 24(6): 581-592, Septembre of 2009.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute

nachricht Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>