Paleoseismological analysis of late Miocene lacustrine successions in the Prebetic Zone, SE Spain



A paleoseismological study of late Miocene lacustrine sediments was carried out in the Neogene basins of the Prebetic Zone in Albacete (Spain). We developed a multidisciplinary methodology which could be used to extrapolate the paleoseismic data to the present day. This multidisciplinary approach includes different disciplines, i.e. stratigraphy, structural analysis, seismological analysis and paleoseismology. Paleoseismological analysis was focussed on both shallow and deep lake deposits given that these sediments behave differently in different deformation fields. The seismites formed in shallow sediments were generated by liquefaction and include: sand dikes, pillow structures and intruded and fractured gr avels. The deep lake deposits show varied structures, such as loop bedding, disturbed varved lamination, mixed layers and pseudonodules. Seismites indicate paleoearthquake magnitude intervals. The trends of the seismites are usually oriented ve ry close to the stress field trends (from the late Miocene to the Present): NW-SE and NE-SW trends. This constitutes a link between tectonics and seismites. The va rved annual sedimentation evidenced by the deep lake facies was used as a relative dating method. Mixed layers were employed as paleoseismic indicators to calculate the earthquake recurrence interval. The mean recurrence interval is close to 130 years (9446 years of total record with 73 dated events), one maximum interval of 454 years and one minimum interval of 23 years and the mean estimated magnitude value is 5.1. The Gutenberg-Richter relationship shows similar "b" values close to 0.86 from paleoseismological and seismological data. This suggests that the seismic conditions have been similar since the late Miocene.

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