Solid Earth, 2, 199-204, 2011
www.solid-earth.net/2/199/2011/
doi:10.5194/se-2-199-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The 11 May 2011 earthquake at Lorca (SE Spain) viewed in a structural-tectonic context
R. L. M. Vissers1 and B. M. L. Meijninger2
1Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.021, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Fugro Engineers B.V., Leidschendam, The Netherlands

Abstract. The Lorca earthquake of 11 May 2011 in the Betic Cordillera of SE Spain occurred almost exactly on the Alhama de Murcia fault, a marked fault that forms part of a NE-SW trending belt of faults and thrusts. The fault belt is reminiscent of a strike-slip corridor, but recent structural studies have provided clear evidence for reverse motions on these faults. Focal mechanisms of the main earthquake, but also of a foreshock, are strikingly consistent with structural observations on the Alhama de Murcia fault. This strengthens the conclusion that, rather than a strike-slip fault, the fault is at present a contractional fault with an oblique reverse sense of motion, presumably in response to the NW-directed motion of Africa with respect to Europe.

Citation: Vissers, R. L. M. and Meijninger, B. M. L.: The 11 May 2011 earthquake at Lorca (SE Spain) viewed in a structural-tectonic context, Solid Earth, 2, 199-204, doi:10.5194/se-2-199-2011, 2011.
 
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