The Septentrional fault zone, the major North American-Caribbean plate-boundary fault in Hispaniola, is a likely source of large earthquakes in the Dominican Republic. An excavation into a Holocene alluvial fan deposited across the fault in the central Cibao Valley, Dominican Republic, provides evidence that it has been at least 430 yr and probably more than 730 yr since the last ground-rupturing earthquake along this segment of the fault. On the basis of these data and published estimates of the plate-tectonic slip rate, we propose that the Septentrional fault is a source of high seismic potential in the densely populated and rapidly developing Cibao Valley in the northern Dominican Republic.

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