1Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.021, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Fugro Engineers B.V., Leidschendam, The Netherlands
Received: 07 Jun 2011 – Discussion started: 28 Jun 2011
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.
Revised: 02 Sep 2011 – Accepted: 13 Sep 2011 – Published: 05 Oct 2011
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.