Lateral slip rate of Alhama de Murcia fault (SE Iberian Peninsula) based on a morphotectonic analysis: Comparison with paleoseismological data

Marta Ferrater, Maria Ortuño, Eulàlia Masana, José J. Martínez-Díaz, Raimon Pallàs, Hector Perea, Stephane Baize, Eduardo García-Meléndez, Anna Echeverria, Thomas Rockwell, Warren D. Sharp, Ramon Arrowsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

To define the seismic potential of the left-lateral strike-slip Alhama de Murcia fault (SE Iberian Peninsula), we calculated its slip rate by measuring offset linear features of known age using a morphotectonic analysis. The Lorca-Totana section of the fault yielded a minimum slip rate of 1.0 ± 0.2 mm/a for the past 30 ka, based on a channel whose age is estimated by OSL technique. The minimum left-lateral slip rate of the Goñar-Lorca section is 1.6–1.7 mm/a for the past 200 ka, based on eight offset surface channels, previously mapped alluvial fans dated by TL, and by new U-series dating of pedogenic carbonate. The U-series technique was used here for first time in the Iberian Peninsula to date small amounts (mg) of pedogenic carbonate. According to the newly estimated slip rate values, the Alhama de Murcia fault is one of the most active faults in the Eastern Betics Shear Zone. These values are larger and have fewer uncertainties in comparison with previous slip rates estimations. In the Lorca-Totana section, the new lateral slip rate is compared with a slip rate calculated by means of a paleoseismic study showing good agreement between the values obtained with the two approaches. We encourage the combination of paleoseismology and morphotectonic analysis to obtain reliable slip rates for faults with scarce evidence of late Holocene slip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-100
Number of pages14
JournalQuaternary International
Volume451
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2017

Keywords

  • Eastern Betics Shear Zone
  • Offset channels
  • Strike-slip fault
  • Tectonic geomorphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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    Ferrater, M., Ortuño, M., Masana, E., Martínez-Díaz, J. J., Pallàs, R., Perea, H., Baize, S., García-Meléndez, E., Echeverria, A., Rockwell, T., Sharp, W. D., & Arrowsmith, R. (2017). Lateral slip rate of Alhama de Murcia fault (SE Iberian Peninsula) based on a morphotectonic analysis: Comparison with paleoseismological data. Quaternary International, 451, 87-100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2017.02.018