Scenarios for earthquake-generated tsunamis on a complex tectonic area of diffuse deformation and low velocity: The Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean

Marine Geology
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Abstract

The tsunami impact on the Spanish and North African coasts of the Alboran Sea generated by several reliable seismic tsunamigenic sources in this area was modeled. The tectonic setting is complex and a study of the potential sources from geological data is basic to obtain probable source characteristics. The tectonic structures considered in this study as potentially tsunamigenic are: the Alboran Ridge associated structures, the Carboneras Fault Zone and the Yusuf Fault Zone. We characterized 12 probable tsunamigenic seismic sources in the Alboran Basin based on the results of recent oceanographical studies. The strain rate in the area is low and therefore its seismicity is moderate and cannot be used to infer characteristics of the major seismic sources. These sources have been used as input for the numerical simulation of the wave propagation, based on the solution of the nonlinear shallow water equations through a finite-difference technique. We calculated the Maximum Wave Elevations, and Tsunami Travel Times using the numerical simulations. The results are shown as maps and profiles along the Spanish and African coasts. The sources associated with the Alboran Ridge show the maximum potential to generate damaging tsunamis, with maximum wave elevations in front of the coast exceeding 1.5 m. The Carboneras and Yusuf faults are not capable of generating disastrous tsunamis on their own, although their proximity to the coast could trigger landslides and associated sea disturbances. The areas which are more exposed to the impact of tsunamis generated in the Alboran Sea are the Spanish coast between Malaga and Adra, and the African coast between Alhoceima and Melilla.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Scenarios for earthquake-generated tsunamis on a complex tectonic area of diffuse deformation and low velocity: The Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean
Series title Marine Geology
DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2011.03.008
Volume 284
Issue 1-4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Description 19 p.
First page 55
Last page 73
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