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Significant earthquakes on the Enriquillo fault system, Hispaniola, 1500-2010: Implications for seismic hazard

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.1785/0120110077

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Abstract

Historical records indicate frequent seismic activity along the north-east Caribbean plate boundary over the past 500 years, particularly on the island of Hispaniola. We use accounts of historical earthquakes to assign intensities and the intensity assignments for the 2010 Haiti earthquakes to derive an intensity attenuation relation for Hispaniola. The intensity assignments and the attenuation relation are used in a grid search to find source locations and magnitudes that best fit the intensity assignments. Here we describe a sequence of devastating earthquakes on the Enriquillo fault system in the eighteenth century. An intensity magnitude MI 6.6 earthquake in 1701 occurred near the location of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the accounts of the shaking in the 1701 earthquake are similar to those of the 2010 earthquake. A series of large earthquakes migrating from east to west started with the 18 October 1751 MI 7.4–7.5 earthquake, probably located near the eastern end of the fault in the Dominican Republic, followed by the 21 November 1751 MI 6.6 earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the 3 June 1770 MI 7.5 earthquake west of the 2010 earthquake rupture. The 2010 Haiti earthquake may mark the beginning of a new cycle of large earthquakes on the Enriquillo fault system after 240 years of seismic quiescence. The entire Enriquillo fault system appears to be seismically active; Haiti and the Dominican Republic should prepare for future devastating earthquakes.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Significant earthquakes on the Enriquillo fault system, Hispaniola, 1500-2010: Implications for seismic hazard
Series title:
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI:
10.1785/0120110077
Volume
102
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Seismological Society of America
Publisher location:
El Cerrito, CA
Contributing office(s):
Earthquake Science Center
Description:
13 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
First page:
18
Last page:
30
Country:
Dominican Republic
Other Geospatial:
Hispaniola