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Intraplate seismicity in northern Central Europe is induced by the last glaciation

Christian Brandes, Holger Steffen, Rebekka Steffen and Patrick Wu
Intraplate seismicity in northern Central Europe is induced by the last glaciation
Geology (Boulder) (July 2015) 43 (7): 611-614


There is growing evidence that climate-induced melting of large ice sheets has been able to trigger fault reactivation and earthquakes around the migrating ice limit. Even today, the stress due to glacial isostatic adjustment can continue to induce seismicity within the once-glaciated region. Northern Central Europe lies outside the former ice margin and is regarded as a low-seismicity area. However, several historic earthquakes with intensities of up to VII occurred in this region during the past 1200 years. Here we show with numerical simulations that the seismicity can potentially be explained by the decay of the Scandinavian ice sheet after the Weichselian glaciation. Combination of historic earthquake epicenters with fault maps relates historic seismicity to major reverse faults of Late Cretaceous age. Mesozoic normal faults remained inactive in historic times. We suggest that many faults in northern Central Europe are active during postglacial times. This is a novelty that sheds new light on the distribution of postglacial faulting and seismicity. In addition, we present the first consistent model that can explain both the occurrence of deglaciation seismicity and the historic earthquakes in northern Central Europe.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 43
Serial Issue: 7
Title: Intraplate seismicity in northern Central Europe is induced by the last glaciation
Affiliation: Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Institut fuer Geologie, Hanover, Germany
Pages: 611-614
Published: 201507
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 38
Accession Number: 2015-093513
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2015214
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
N45°30'00" - N55°00'00", E06°00'00" - E24°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Lantmaeteriet, SWE, SwedenUppsala University, SWE, SwedenUniversity of Hong Kong, CHN, China
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201540
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