200-m-deep earthquake swarm in Tricastin (lower Rhône Valley, France) accounts for noisy seismicity over past centuries - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Terra Nova Year : 2009

200-m-deep earthquake swarm in Tricastin (lower Rhône Valley, France) accounts for noisy seismicity over past centuries

Abstract

In the lower Rhône Valley (France), the Tricastin area was struck in 2002–2003 by an earthquake swarm with a maximum ML-magnitude of 1.7. These shocks would have gone unnoticed if they had not occurred beneath habitations and close to the surface, some events being only 200-m deep. A several months' monitoring of the seismic activity by a 16-station mobile network showed that earthquakes clustered along a N–S-trending, at least 5-km long, shallow rupture zone, with no corresponding fault mapped in the surface. Half of the seismic events occurred in a massive, c. 250-m-thick, Lower Cretaceous limestone slab that outcrops near by. Since the late eighteenth century, several much more severe earthquake swarms have struck Tricastin. The 1772–1773 and 1933–1936 swarms were prolific and protracted, with reports of numerous detonations and even damage. Obviously, the abnormal noises that caused panic in the past centuries can be explained by the shallowness of the phenomena, a 200-m focal depth being perhaps a record value for tectonic earthquakes.

Dates and versions

insu-00419401 , version 1 (23-09-2009)

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Cite

François Thouvenot, Liliane Jenatton, Jean-Pierre Gratier. 200-m-deep earthquake swarm in Tricastin (lower Rhône Valley, France) accounts for noisy seismicity over past centuries. Terra Nova, 2009, 21 (3), pp.203-210. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-3121.2009.00875.x⟩. ⟨insu-00419401⟩
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