Artículos de revistas
Intraplate earthquake swarm in Belo Jardim, NE Brazil: reactivation of a major Neoproterozoic shear zone (Pernambuco Lineament)
GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, v.180, n.3, p.1303-1312, 2010
LOPES, Afonso E. V.
NASCIMENTO, Aderson F. do
FERREIRA, Joaquim Mendes
MENEZES, Eduardo A. S.
BARBOSA, Jose Roberto
Intraplate earthquakes in stable continental areas have been explained basically by reactivation of pre-existing zones of weakness, stress concentration, or both. Zones of weakness are usually identified as sites of the last major orogeny, provinces of recent alkaline intrusions, or stretched crust in ancient rifts. However, it is difficult to identify specific zones of weakness and intraplate fault zones are not always easily correlated with known geological features. Although Northeastern Brazil is one of the most seismically active areas in the country (magnitudes 5 roughly every 5 yr), with hypocentral depths shallower than similar to 10 km and seismic zones as long as 30-40 km, no clear relationship with the known surface geology can be usually established with confidence, and a clear identification of zones of weakness has not yet been possible. Here we present the first clear case of seismic activity occurring as reactivation of an old structure in Brazil: the Pernambuco Lineament, a major Neoproterozoic shear zone. The 2004 earthquake swarm of Belo Jardim (magnitudes up to 3.1) and the recurrent activities in the nearby towns of Sao Caetano and Caruaru (magnitudes up to 4.0 and 3.8), show that the Pernambuco Lineament is a weak zone. A local seismic network showed that the Belo Jardim swarm of 2004 November occurred by normal faulting on a North dipping, E-W oriented fault plane in close agreement with the E-W trending structures within the Pernambuco Lineament. The Belo Jardim activity was concentrated in a 1.5 km (E-W) by 2 km (downdip) fault area, and average depth of 4.5 km. The nearby Caruaru activity occurs as both strike-slip and normal faulting, also consistent with local structures of the Pernambuco Lineament. The focal mechanisms of Belo Jardim, Caruaru and S. Caetano, indicate E-W compressional and N-S extensional principal stresses. The NS extension of this stress field is larger than that predicted by numerical models such as those of Coblentz & Richardson and we propose that additional factors such as flexural stresses from the nearby Sergipe-Alagoas marginal basin could also affect the current stress field in the Pernambuco Lineament.