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Instituto de Investigação
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Referência Bibliográfica

MATIAS, L., DIAS, N.,MORAIS, I., VALES, D., CARRILHO, F., MADEIRA, J., GASPAR, J.L., SENOS, L., SILVEIRA, A.B. (2007) - The 9th of July 1998 Faial Island (Azores, North Atlantic) seismic sequence. Journal of Seismology, 11, p. 275 - 298.


The Faial earthquake (ML 5.8) that occurred on the 9th of July, 1998, in the Azores region (north Atlantic), caused nine casualties and severe destruction affecting more than 5,000 people. Themain shock was located at sea, 10 km NE of the Faial Island, and triggered a seismic sequence that lasted for several weeks and was characterized by an unusual high p-value of 1.40 for the modified Omori law. We present here the results of a joint inversion of hypocenters and 1D velocity model performed on the data collected by the permanent network complemented with a temporary network installed shortly after the occurrence of the main event. The 1D velocity model shows a heterogeneous upper crust, testified by the observed differences in site effects at the stations, while the middle crust from ∼2.5 to 8 km in depth is quite homogeneous. The Moho is located at a depth of about 12–13 km and the Vp/Vs ratio is found to be around 1.78. The events at depth are mainly concentrated in the middle-lower crust (8–12 km), while their spatial distribution shows a main cluster, visible after relocation, SSE trending. This direction of elongation is consistent with one of the fault planes (N151°E) of the centroid moment tensor (CMT) solution for the main shock. The same plane is the preferred main shock fault plane inferred after a Coulomb failure function analysis on the aftershock distribution. The main event relocation points to a focal depth shallower than 5 km. The aftershocks pattern shows that several fault systems were reactivated by the stress perturbation induced by the main shock. Besides the two main tectonic directions, trending WNW–ESE and NNW–SSE, observed in the tectonics of Faial, Pico, and S. Jorge, there is also evidence of a new tectonic direction trending WSW–ENE.