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Paleoseismological analysis of an intraplate extensional structure: the Concud fault (Iberian Chain, eastern Spain)

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Abstract

The Concud fault is a 13.5 km long, NW–SE striking normal fault at the eastern Iberian Chain. Its recent (Late Pleistocene) slip history is characterized from mapping and trench analysis and discussed in the context of the accretion/incision history of the Alfambra River. The fault has been active since Late Pliocene times, with slip rates ranging from 0.07 to 0.33 mm/year that are consistent with its present-day geomorphologic expression. The most likely empirical correlation suggests that the associated paleoseisms have potential magnitudes close to 6.8, coseismic displacements of 2.0 m, and recurrence intervals from 6.1 to 28.9 ka. At least six paleoseismic events have been identified between 113 and 32 ka. The first three events (U to W) involved displacement along the major fault plane. The last three events (X to Z) encompassed downthrow and hanging-wall synthetic bending prompting fissure opening. This change is accompanied by a decrease in slip rate (from 0.63 to 0.08–0.17 mm/year) and has been attributed to activation of a synthetic blind fault at the hanging wall. The average coseismic displacement (1.9–2.0 m) and recurrence period (6.7–7.9 ka) inferred from this paleoseismic succession are within the ranges predicted from empirical correlation. Such paleoseismic activity contrasts with the moderate present-day seismicity of the area (maximum instrumental Mb = 4.4), which can be explained by the long recurrence interval that characterizes intraplate regions.

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Acknowledgments

We thank A. M. Michetti for his constructive review and an anonymous referee for his comments. We are very grateful to M. A. Soriano, M. A. Rodríguez-Pascua, A. Gil, C. Sancho, A. R. Soria, and A. Luzón for their helpful observations during field work and interpretation. The research has been financed by projects CGL2006-09670/BTE and CGL2009-13390 (Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación and FEDER) and Consolider CGL2006-041 («Topo-Iberia»).

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Lafuente, P., Arlegui, L.E., Liesa, C.L. et al. Paleoseismological analysis of an intraplate extensional structure: the Concud fault (Iberian Chain, eastern Spain). Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 100, 1713–1732 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00531-010-0542-1

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