New approaches in subaqueous PALEOseismology using high-resolution SIESmics to derive single net paleoearthQUAKEs displacement and to characterize the seismic cycle on active faults

The study of past earthquakes is essential in modern seismic hazard assessment. Paleoseismology is a field of research that allows to characterize past earthquakes and to determine the seismic potential of the source faults based on the interpretation of the geological record. Thus, its strength is that covers much longer periods than the instrumental or historical seismic catalogues. Subaqueous paleoseismology merge and integrate paleoseismology and marine geology to detect and describe the occurrence of paleoearthquakes on faults located underwater. Recent advances in subaqueous paleoseismology have allowed to derive the submarine paleoearthquake records directly on-faults and their individual vertical displacement. The next step now is to move towards the obtaining of net displacements per event (normal and strike-slip components) and short term net slip-rates. The main objective of the PALEOSEISQUAKE project is to propose a methodology to characterize the seismic potential of strike-slip faults, with special emphasis on recognizing single net event displacements and obtaining precise net slip-rates by using 3D geological models derived from closely-spaced grids (pseudo 3D) or 3D cubes of high-resolution seismic data. This research will be conducted on selected faults located in the California margin and Alboran Sea (southeastern Iberia). The resulting methodology will give more accuracy on the Quaternary slip rates of the faults and improve scientific knowledge about their behavior, but, also, reduce the uncertainties on the data used by scientists and civil protection authorities involved in seismic hazard assessment. PALEOSEISQUAKE is an original and innovative project that aims to develop a new methodology using modern analysis techniques, and will represent a step forward in subaqueous paleoseismology.


Keywords: Active tectonics, active fault, paleoseismology, seismic cycle, net slip-rate, net displacement per event, earthquake geology, tectonic geomorphology, marine geology, seismic hazard


EU contribution: 239.191 €

Duration: August 1st 2016 – July 31st 2019

This project has received funding from the European Union's horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 6657769

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