Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-186
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-186
 
12 Jul 2022
12 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Seismogenic potential and tsunami threat of the strike-slip Carboneras Fault in the Western Mediterranean from physics-based earthquake simulations

José A. Álvarez-Gómez1, Paula Herrero-Barbero1, and José J. Martínez-Díaz1,2 José A. Álvarez-Gómez et al.
  • 1Department of Geodynamics, Stratigraphy and Palaeontology. Faculty of Geology. Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2IGEO, Geosciences Institute, CSIC-UCM, Madrid, Spain

Abstract. Strike-slip fault ruptures have a limited capacity to generate vertical deformation, and for this reason they are usually dismissed as potential destructive tsunami sources. At the western tip of the western Mediterranean, in the Alboran Sea, tectonics is characterized by the presence of large transcurrent fault systems and minor reverse and normal faults in a zone of diffuse deformation. The strike-slip Carboneras fault is one of the largest sources in the Alboran Sea, and therefore, with the greatest seismogenic capacity. It is also one of the active structures with higher slip rates in the Eastern Betic Fault Zone and has been proposed as source of the damaging 1522 (M6.5; Int. VIII-IX) Almeria earthquake. The dimensions and location of the Carboneras fault imply a high seismic and tsunami threat. In this paper we present tsunami simulations from seismic sources generated with physics-based earthquake simulators. We have generated a 1 Myr synthetic seismic catalogue consistent on 773,893 events with magnitudes ranging between MW  3.3 and 7.6. From these events we have selected those sources producing a potential energy capable of generating a noticeable tsunami, being earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.71 to 7.62. The Carboneras Fault has the capacity to generate locally damaging tsunamis, however, on a regional scale its tsunami threat is limited. The frequency – magnitude distribution of the generated seismic catalogue reflects the variability of magnitudes associated to the rupture of the entire fault, departing the upper limit from the classical Gutenberg-Richter potential relation showing a bell-shaped distribution. The inter-event time for the maximum earthquake magnitudes is usually between 2000 and 6000 years. The use of physics-based earthquake simulations for tsunamigenic sources allows a robust characterization of the scenarios, allowing a qualitative leap in their parametrization.

José A. Álvarez-Gómez et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-186', Luis Matias, 12 Sep 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', José A. Alvarez-Gómez, 30 Nov 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2022-186', Julian Garcia-Mayordomo, 16 Oct 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', José A. Alvarez-Gómez, 30 Nov 2022

José A. Álvarez-Gómez et al.

José A. Álvarez-Gómez et al.

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Short summary
The strike-slip Carboneras fault is one of the largest sources in the Alboran Sea, being one of the faster faults in the Eastern Betics. The dimensions and location of the Carboneras fault imply a high seismic and tsunami threat. In this work we present tsunami simulations from sources generated with physics-based earthquake simulators. We show that the Carboneras Fault has the capacity to generate locally damaging tsunamis with inter-event times between 2000 and 6000 years.
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