The Ain Temouchent (Algeria) Earthquake of December 22nd, 1999
—On December 22nd, 1999 an earthquake of Magnitude Mw : 5.7 occurred at Ain Temouchent (northwest Algeria). This moderate seismic event was located in a region characterized by a low seismic activity where few historical events have been observed. The earthquake, with a maximum intensity of VII (MSK scale), caused serious damages to the Ain Temouchent city and its surroundings. In the epicentral area, 25 people died and about 25,000 people were made homeless. Some minor breaks have been observed in several areas in the field. They were mainly related to minor collapses in the landscape or in volcanic cavities. The focal mechanism has been studied by using broadband data at regional and teleseismic distances, and different methods. The fault-plane solution has been estimated from first motions of P wave. Depth and source time function have been estimated from the modeling of body waveforms. Scalar seismic moment and source dimension have been obtained from spectral analysis. Results show thrust motion, with a horizontal pressure axis oriented in a NW-SE direction, a depth of 4 km and a simple source time function with time duration of 5 s. Scalar seismic moment estimated from waveform modeling is 4.7 × 1017 Nm, and spectral analysis gives a value of 1.7 × 1017 Nm and a source radius of 7.5 km.
Key words:Ain Temouchent (Algeria) seismic source damages focal mechanism breaks
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