Seismic triggering induced by lithospheric flexure due to eustatic sea level rise

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© 2014, LNEG – Laboratório Nacional de Geologia e Energia IP. We model the bending of the lithosphere in the Iberian Peninsula in response to the rise of sea level (~120 m) since the last glacial maximum (~21,000 years).On the onshore region, the stresses induced by flexure promote failure on strike-slip faults striking parallel to the shoreline. As a result of sea level rise the Coulomb stress on the Vilariça fault is increased by ~ 1 MPa. Considering that the tectonic loading rate in mainland Portugal is very low (0.05 - 5 MPa/10,000 years) we infer that the perturbations due to flexure are of the same magnitude order as the Coulomb stress changes due to tectonic loading. We conclude that it is possible that the eustatic perturbations were able to speed up the seismic cycle of the Vilariça fault and generate the paleoseismicity cluster observed.

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Comunicacoes Geologicas

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