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Zemmouri earthquake rupture zone (Mw 6.8, Algeria): Aftershocks sequence relocation and 3D velocity model

By A. Ayadi, C. Dorbath, F. Ousadou, S. Maouche, M. Chikh, M. A. Bounif and M. Meghraoui


International audienceWe analyze the aftershocks sequence of the Zemmouri thrust faulting earthquake (21 May 2003, M w 6.8) located east of Algiers in the Tell Atlas. The seismic sequence located during ~2 months following the mainshock is made of more than 1500 earthquakes and extends NE-SW along a ~60-km fault rupture zone crossing the coastline. The earthquake relocation was performed using handpicked P and S phases located with the tomoDD in a detailed 3D velocity structure of the epicentral area. Contrasts between velocity patches seem to correlate with contacts between granitic-volcanic basement rocks and the sedimentary formation of the eastern Mitidja basin. The aftershock sequence exhibits at least three seismic clouds and a well-defined SE-dipping main fault geometry that reflects the complex rupture. The distribution of seismic events presents a clear contrast between a dense SW zone and a NE zone with scattered aftershocks. We observe that the mainshock locates between the SW and NE seismic zones; it also lies at the NNS-SSE contact that separates a basement block to the east and sedimentary formations to the west. The aftershock distribution also suggests fault bifurcation at the SW end of the fault rupture, with a 20-km-long ~N 100° trending seismic cluster, with a vertical fault geometry parallel to the coastline juxtaposed. Another aftershock cloud may correspond to 75° SE dipping fault. The fault geometry and related SW branches may illustrate the interference between pre-existing fault structures and the SW rupture propagation. The rupture zone, related kinematics, and velocity contrasts obtained from the aftershocks distribution are in agreement with the coastal uplift and reflect the characteristics of an active zone controlled by convergent movements at a plate boundary

Topics: Seismology: Seismicity and tectonics (1207, 1217, 1240, 1242), Seismology: Tomography (6982, 8180), Tectonophysics: Continental tectonics: compressional, Tectonophysics: Dynamics: seismotectonics, [SDU.STU]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Earth Sciences
Publisher: 'American Geophysical Union (AGU)'
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1029/2007JB005257
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-00323603v1
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