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The 11 May 2011 earthquake at Lorca (SE Spain) viewed in a structural-tectonic context

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Author(s): R. L. M. Vissers | B. M. L. Meijninger

Journal: Solid Earth
ISSN 1869-9510

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 199;
Date: 2011;
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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.
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