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Title: The North Maladeta fault (Spanish Central Pyrenees) as the Vielha 1923 earthquake seismic source: recent activity revealed by geomorphological and geophysical research.
Author: Ortuño Candela, María
Queralt i Capdevila, Pilar
Martí i Castells, Anna
Ledo Fernández, Juanjo
Masana, Eulàlia
Perea Manera, Héctor
Santanach i Prat, Pere F., 1946-
Keywords: Neotectònica
Prospecció geofísica
Geophysical exploration
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Abstract: The Spanish Central Pyrenees have been the scenario of at least two damaging earthquakes in the last 800 years. Analysis of macroseismic data of the most recent one, the Vielha earthquake (19 November 1923), has led to the identification of the North Maladeta Fault (NMF) as the seismic source of the event. This E-W trending fault defines the northern boundary of the Maladeta Batholith and corresponds to a segment of the Alpine Gavarnie thrust fault. Our study shows that the NMF offsets a reference Neogene peneplain. The maximum observed vertical displacement is ~ 730 m, with the northern downthrown sector slightly tilting towards the South. This offset provides evidence of normal faulting and together with the presence of tectonic faceted spurs allowed us to geomorphically identify a fault trace of 17.5 km. This length suggests that a maximum earthquake of Mw=6.5 ± 0.66 could occur in the area. The geomorphological study was improved with a resistivity model obtained at Prüedo, where a unique detritic Late Miocene sequence crops out adjacent to the NMF. The section is made up of 13 audiomagnetotelluric soundings along a 1.5 km transect perpendicular to the fault trace at Prüedo and reveals the structure in depth, allowing us to interpret the Late Miocene deposits as tectonically trapped basin deposits associated with normal faulting of the NMF. The indirect age of these deposits has been constrained between 11.1-8.7 Ma, which represents a minimum age for the elevated Pyrenean peneplain in this part of the Pyrenees. Therefore, we propose the maximum vertical dip slip rate for the NMF to be between 0.06-0.08 mm/a. Normal faulting in this area is attributed to the vertical lithospheric stress associated with the thickened Pyrenean crust.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Tectonophysics, 2008, vol. 453, num. 1-4, p. 246-262
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ISSN: 0040-1951
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Dinàmica de la Terra i l'Oceà)

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