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Magnitudes and source areas of large prehistoric northern Alpine earthquakes revealed by slope failures in lakes

Michael Strasser, Flavio S. Anselmetti, Donat Faeh, Domenico Giardini and Michael Schnellmann
Magnitudes and source areas of large prehistoric northern Alpine earthquakes revealed by slope failures in lakes
Geology (Boulder) (December 2006) 34 (12): 1005-1008

Abstract

We identify evidence for three large paleo-earthquakes in central Switzerland with moment magnitudes (M > 6.5-7.0) significantly exceeding historically known values. These earthquakes occurred during the past 15 k.y. and were strong enough to simultaneously affect a large region that includes the present-day major cities of Lucerne and Zurich. We reconstruct the chronology, magnitudes, and epicenters of these prehistoric earthquakes using temporal and spatial correlation of multiple subaqueous landslide deposits in Lake Zurich and Lake Lucerne through high-resolution seismic surveys, radiocarbon-dated sediment cores, and spatial calculations using an empirical seismic attenuation model. Our data indicate ongoing Alpine deformation that generated and could potentially generate destructive events in heavily populated regions that have been unaccustomed to seismic activity during historic time.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 34
Serial Issue: 12
Title: Magnitudes and source areas of large prehistoric northern Alpine earthquakes revealed by slope failures in lakes
Affiliation: ETH Zurich, Geological Institute, Zurich, Switzerland
Pages: 1005-1008
Published: 200612
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 24
Accession Number: 2006-091353
Categories: Quaternary geologySeismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2006221
Illustration Description: sect., sketch maps
N46°40'00" - N47°40'00", E08°00'00" - E09°15'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200651
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