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Title: Influence of the continental margin on the stress field and seismicity in the intraplate Acaraú Seismic Zone, NE Brazil
Authors: Oliveira, Paulo Henrique Sousa de
Ferreira, Joaquim M.
Bezerra, Francisco Hilário Rego
Assumpção, Marcelo
Nascimento, Aderson Farias do
Sousa, Maria O. L.
Meneses, Eduardo A. S.
Keywords: Seismicity and tectonics;Continental neotectonics;Earthquake source observations
Issue Date: 7-Jul-2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Citation: OLIVEIRA, Paulo H.S.; FERREIRA, Joaquim M.; BEZERRA, Francisco H.R.; ASSUMPÇÃO, Marcelo; NASCIMENTO, Aderson F. do; SOUSA, Maria O.L.; MENEZES, Eduardo A.S.. Influence of the continental margin on the stress field and seismicity in the intraplate Acaraú Seismic Zone, NE Brazil. Geophysical Journal International, [S.L.], v. 202, n. 3, p. 1453-1462, 7 jul. 2015. Disponível em: Acesso em: 22 out. 2020.
Portuguese Abstract: The Borborema province in NE Brazil is characterized by seismic sequences with small earthquakes that can last 10 yr or more. The seismicity in this region is concentrated in three main seismic zones. In this work, we investigate the stress field in one of these zones, the Acaraú Seismic Zone, which is located in the NW part of the Borborema province. This seismic zone exhibits earthquake sequences that contain repeated earthquakes with similar waveforms and a shallow depth. Using a local network, we investigated a seismic sequence close to the town of Santana do Acaraú from December 2009 to December 2010, and we present detailed results (velocity model, hypocentres and focal mechanism) from this network. In addition, we inverted seven focal mechanisms, including six that were used in previous studies, and determined the directions of the three main axes of the regional stress field. Selecting a very precise set of 12 earthquakes, we found an active seismic zone with a depth between 3.5 and 4.8 km and with a horizontal dimension of approximately 2.5 km in the NW–SE direction (azimuth of 118°) and a strike-slip focal mechanism. The new seismic fault and some of the previous seismic faults determined in previous studies occur near the continental-scale Transbrasiliano lineament, but they exhibit no direct relationship with that ancient structure. The stress field is characterized by NW–SE trending compression and NE–SW trending extension. This result suggests that the rheological contrast between the continental–oceanic crusts created flexural stresses with maximum horizontal compression parallel to the continental margin. This stress pattern occurs along the Potiguar basin and continues west as far as the Amazon fan along the Equatorial margin of Brazil. This stress field and related seismicity may be a characteristic of this type of passive margin that is generated during the transform shearing between the South America and Africa plates and that exhibits an abrupt oceanic–continent transition, steep continental slopes and high bathymetric gradients
ISSN: 0956-540X
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