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The quest for the Africa–Eurasia plate boundary west of the Strait of Gibraltar

By N. Zitellini, E. Gràcia, L. Matias, P. Terrinha, M.A. Abreu, G. DeAlteriis, J.P. Henriet, J.J. Dañobeitia, D.G. Masson, T. Mulder, R. Ramella, L. Somoza and S. Diez


The missing link in the plate boundary between Eurasia and Africa in the central Atlantic is presented and discussed. A set of almost linear and sub parallel dextral strike–slip faults, the SWIM1 Faults, that form a narrow band of deformation over a length of 600 km coincident with a small circle centred on the pole of rotation of Africa with respect to Eurasia, was mapped using a new swath bathymetry compilation available in the area offshore SW Portugal. These faults connect the Gloria Fault to the Rif–Tell Fault Zone, two segments of the plate boundary between Africa and Eurasia. The SWIM faults cut across the Gulf of Cadiz, in the Atlantic Ocean, where the 1755 Great Lisbon earthquake, M ~ 8.5–8.7, and tsunami were generated, providing a new insight on its source location

Topics: QE, GC
Year: 2009
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Provided by: e-Prints Soton
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