Ground effects of the 18 October 1992, Murindo earthquake (NW Colombia), using the Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale (ESI 2007) for the assessment of intensity
S. Mosquera-Machado, C. Lalinde-Pulido, E. Salcedo-Hurtado, A. M. Michetti, 2009. "Ground effects of the 18 October 1992, Murindo earthquake (NW Colombia), using the Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale (ESI 2007) for the assessment of intensity", Palaeoseismology: Historical and Prehistorical Records of Earthquake Ground Effects for Seismic Hazard Assessment, K. Reicherter, A. M. Michetti, P. G. Silva
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The macroseismic intensity of the 18 October 1992 Murindo-Atrato earthquake that affected the northwestern states of Colombia (Chocó and Antioquia) is reassessed using the newly developed INQUA Environmental Seismic Intensity Scale (ESI 2007) which is based on the evaluation of earthquake environmental effects. To generate the ESI 2007 isoseismal map of northwestern Colombia, a geographical information system was used. Unifying the available information on the seismological and active tectonics framework including historical seismicity, hypocentral depths, foreshocks, aftershocks, focal mechanism, macroseismic data under the same GIS and the map of Quaternary faults allowed us to reinterpret the geological and environmental effects of the 1992 earthquakes sequence. A total of 24 sites from the areas of Quibdó, Bojayá, Rio Sucio, Murindo, Vigía del Fuerte and Turbo were evaluated. A systematic comparison among evaluated intensities (Modified Mercalli and ESI scale) revealed differences from one to two degrees. According to the ESI 2007 scale, the epicentral intensity Io is XI. This represents one degree higher than the epicentral intensity obtained using MM and Medveded Sponhauer Karnik (MSK) intensity scales, probably due to the lack of suitable observations on building damage in this poorly populated and developed region. This information is also useful in order to shed some light on the persistent question of the exact location and dimension of the main rupture zone associated with the earthquake. The isoseismal map derived from the integration of the whole set of environmental effects with other macroseismic data strongly suggests that the causative tectonic structure is the Murindo fault. However, the rupture length derived from the distribution of ground effects is greater than the Murindo fault length, implying that other nearby fault segments were activated during the 1992 event. The new isoseismal map resulting from this work is relevant for the assessment of future seismic risk in the northwestern region of Colombia. Overall, the application of the ESI 2007 scale to the 18 October 1992 earthquake, and to similar strong events in the region, can be useful for disaster management and planning, estimation of damage, and post-earthquake recovery efforts.
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Palaeoseismology: Historical and Prehistorical Records of Earthquake Ground Effects for Seismic Hazard Assessment
Given the tremendous toll in human lives and attendant economic losses, it is appropriate that scientists are working hard to understand better earthquakes, with the aim of forecasting and, ultimately, predicting them.
In the last decades increasing attention has been paid to the coseismic effects on the natural environment, creating a solid base of empirical data for the estimation of source parameters of strong earthquakes based on geological observations. The recently introduced INQUA scale (Environmental Seismic Intensity–ESI 2007 Scale) of macroseismic intensity clearly shows how the systematic study of earthquake surface faulting, coseismic liquefaction, tsunami deposits and other primary and secondary ground effects can be integrated with “traditional” seismological and tectonic information to provide a better understanding of the seismicity level of an area and the associated hazards. At the moment this is the only scientific means of equating the seismic records to the seismic cycle time-spans extending the seismic catalogues even to tens of thousands of years, improving future seismic hazard analyses.
This Special Publication covers some of the latest multidisciplinary work undertaken to achieve that aim. Eighteen papers from research groups from all continents address a wide range of topics related both to palaeoseismological studies and assessment of macroseismic intensity based only on the natural phenomena associated with an earthquake.