Dominique Chardon, Daniel Hermitte, Frédéric Nguyen, Olivier Bellier; First paleoseismological constraints on the strongest earthquake in France (Provence) in the twentieth century. Geology 2005; 33 (11): 901-904. doi: 10.1130/G21713.1
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We have identified surface ruptures of M ≥ 6 earthquakes on a branch of the propagating reverse fault system that produced the strongest event recorded in France during the twentieth century (1909 Lambesc earthquake, Provence). The rate of slip on that branch is 0.05–0.3 mm/yr with a corresponding return period for M ≥ 6 events of 700–5000 yr. In addition to possibly identifying the 1909 earthquake surface rupture, by recognizing successive surface breaks of large earthquakes, this study calls for a reassessment of seismic hazard in Provence.