Abstract

The 30 March 1738 earthquake with an epicenter near Čakovec in Međimurje (Croatia) is the largest known earthquake in the low‐seismicity area that includes northernmost Croatia, northeastern Slovenia, southeastern Austria, and southwestern Hungary. So far, it has attracted very little attention in the seismological communities of those countries. It is missing or has wrong source parameters in all of the relevant earthquake catalogs (including the Seismic Hazard Harmonization in Europe (SHARE) catalog, Stucchi et al., 2013), which may influence seismic hazard assessment in this part of Europe, most critically in the Međimurje region itself. We present contemporary historical data shedding some light on the effects that the earthquake had on settlements mostly in Međimurje, but also elsewhere in Croatia, Slovenia, and Hungary. We were able to assign intensities to 12 localities surrounding the epicenter and to resolve the confusion about its date of occurrence. The intensity points were inverted for the location of the macroseismic hypocenter and epicentral intensity (I0=7.9 MSK [Medvedev–Sponheuer–Karnik]). The epicenter is found to lie on the hanging wall of the reverse Čakovec fault, about 6 km from its surface trace, and 8 km north‐northwest of the town of Čakovec. The rather small felt area for an earthquake of this maximum intensity implies a shallow macroseismic focal depth of 6 km. These values of intensity and depth correspond to a macroseismic magnitude of MLm 5.1.

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