Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 65–95 | Cite as

Structural and Geodynamic Ideas on the Galati-Izvoarele Seismic-Prone Area (Eastern Romania)

  • Lucian BesutiuEmail author
  • Mihail Diaconescu
  • Luminita Zlăgnean
  • Andreea Craiu


The Galati-Izvoarele region, located in eastern Romania, came into the public attention relatively recent, when hosted an unusual intense earthquake sequence. During September–November 2013, several hundred shallow crust earthquakes were recorded in the area. There were several attempts to explain the phenomenon, and hypotheses more or less documented have been formed. Some speculations occurred on the potential connection between the seismic swarm and oil industry activities. The paper summarizes the results of local geophysical surveys conducted in the area, jointly analysed with the observed seismicity. The main results of the study reveal the Galati-Izvoarele region as a seismic-active area belonging to the northwest prolongation of North Dobrogea mobile zone. The earthquakes were generated mainly in a highly fragmented local graben-like structure, transversally superposed on the descending slope of the North Dobrogea Promontory. The graben fault system was and might be (re)activated each time when tectonic forces acting in the Carpathians foreland intensify. Changes in the intensity of tectonic forces may reflect in the slip acceleration along Peceneaga–Camena Fault, as observed at the Baspunar Geodynamic Observatory. For example, the paroxysmal phase of the Galati-Izvoarele swarm was shortly preceded by a significant increase of the Peceneaga–Camena Fault slip rate recorded at Baspunar Geodynamic Observatory. To conclude, the Galati-Izvoarele region must be seen as a seismic-prone area and any significant increase of the tectonic stress in the Carpathians foreland may generate another seismic sequence in an unpredictable future.


Seismic hazard tectonics geodynamics gravity geomagnetism modelling Galati-Izvoarele area Romania 



Most of the high time-consuming computations benefitted the SEDD cybernetic infrastructure achieved within an EU funded project through the grant POS CCE O 2.1.2. ID 593 (contract 184/2010). We are much indebted to Prof. Marian Ivan, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, University in Bucharest, for fruitful discussions and suggestions provided. The authors also wish to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive critics that considerably help improving the manuscript.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geodynamics of the Romanian AcademyBucharestRomania
  2. 2.National Institute for Earth PhysicsMăgureleRomania

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