Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 168, Issue 8–9, pp 1435–1447 | Cite as

Constraints on Jalisco Block Motion and Tectonics of the Guadalajara Triple Junction from 1998–2001 Campaign GPS Data

  • Michelle M. SelvansEmail author
  • Joann M. Stock
  • Charles DeMets
  • Osvaldo Sanchez
  • Bertha Marquez-Azua


A GPS campaign network in the state of Jalisco was occupied for ~36 h per station most years between 1995 and 2005; we use data from 1998–2001 to investigate tectonic motion and interseismic deformation in the Jalisco area with respect to the North America plate. The twelve stations used in this analysis provide coverage of the Jalisco Block and adjacent North America plate, and show a pattern of motion that implies some contribution to Jalisco Block boundary deformation from both tectonic motion and interseismic deformation due to the offshore 1995 earthquake. The consistent direction and magnitude of station motion on the Jalisco Block with respect to the North America reference frame, ~2 mm/year to the southwest (95% confidence level), perhaps can be attributed to tectonic motion. However, some station velocities within and across the boundaries of the Jalisco Block are also non-zero (95% confidence level), and the overall pattern of station velocities indicates both viscoelastic response to the 1995 earthquake and partial coupling of the subduction interface (together termed “interseismic deformation”). Our results show motion across the northern Colima rift, the eastern boundary of the Jalisco Block, which is likely to be sinistral oblique extension rather than pure extension. We constrain extension across both the Colima rift and the northeastern boundary of the Jalisco Block, the Tepic-Zacoalco rift, to ≤8 mm/year (95% confidence level), slow compared to relative rates of motion at nearby plate boundaries.


Colima rift GPS interseismic Jalisco Block Tepic-Zacoalco rift triple junction 



We would like to thank Jeff Genrich and Tom Herring for helpful discussions. Support for this research was provided by National Science Foundation grants EAR-0510395 (J. Stock) and EAR-0510553 (C. DeMets).


  1. Allan, J. F. (1986), Geology of the Northern Colima and Zacoalco Grabens, southwest Mexico: Late Cenozoic rifting in the Mexican Volcanic Belt, Geol. Soc. of Am. Bull. 97, 473–485.Google Scholar
  2. Allan, J. F., S. A Nelson, J. F. Luhr, I. S. E. Carmichael, M. Wopat, and P. J. Wallace (1991), Pliocene-Holocene Rifting and Associated Volcanism in Southwest Mexico: An Exotic Terrane in the Making, in Dauphin, J. P. & Simoneit, B. R. T., eds., The Gulf and Peninsular Province of the Californias: Boulder, Colorado, AAPG Memoir 47, 425–445.Google Scholar
  3. Altamimi, Z., P. Sillard, and C. Boucher (2002), ITRF2000: A new release of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame for earth science applications, J. of Geophys. Res., 107(B10), 2214, doi: 10.1029/2001JB000561.
  4. Andrews, V., J. M. Stock, G. Reyes-Dávila and C. Ramírez-Vazquez, Double-difference relocation of the aftershocks of the Tecomán, Colima, Mexico earthquake of 22 January 2003, PAGEOPH, in press.Google Scholar
  5. Arzate, J. A., R. Alvarez, V. Yutsis, J. Pacheco, and H. Lopez-Loera (2006), Geophysical modeling of Valle de Banderas Graben and its structural relation to Bahia de Banderas, Mexico, Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geologicas 23 (2), 184–198.Google Scholar
  6. Bandy, W. and M. Pardo (1994), Statistical examination of the existence and relative motion of the Jalisco and Southern Mexico Blocks, Tectonics 13 (4), 755–768.Google Scholar
  7. Bandy, B. L., F. Michaud, J. Bourgois, T. Calmus, J. Dyment, C. A. Mortera-Gutierrez, J. Ortega-Ramirez, B. Pontoise, J.-Y. Royer, B. Sichler, M. Sosson, M. Rebolledo-Vieyra, F. Bigot-Cormier, O. Diaz-Molina, A. D. Hurtado-Artunduaga, G. Pardo-Castro, C. Trouillard-Perrot (2005), Subsidence and strike-slip tectonism of the upper continental slope off Manzanillo, Mexico, Tectonophysics 398, 115–140.Google Scholar
  8. Becker, J. J. and D. T. Sandwell (2006), SRTM30_PLUS V2.0: Data fusion of SRTM land topography with measured and estimated seafloor topography, 29 July 2006,
  9. Bourgois, J., V. Renard, J. Aubouin, W. Bandy, E. Barrier, T. Calmus, J.-L. Carfantan, J. Guerrero, J. Mammerickx, B. Mercier de Lepinay, F. Michaud, M. Sosson (1988), Active fragmentation of the North American Plate: offshore boundary of the Jalisco Block off Manzanillo, C. R. Acad., Sci. Paris 307 (II), 1121–1130.Google Scholar
  10. Correa-Mora, F., C. DeMets, E. Cabral-Cano, B. Marquez-Azua, and O. Diaz-Molina (2008), Interplate coupling and transient slip along the subduction interface beneath Oaxaca, Mexico, Geophys. J. Int. 175, 269–290.Google Scholar
  11. DeMets, C. and D. S. Wilson (1997), Relative motions of the Pacific, Rivera, North American, and Cocos plates since 0.78 Ma, J. of Geophys. Res. 102 (B2), 2789–2896.Google Scholar
  12. DeMets, C. and S. Traylen (2000), Motion of the Rivera plate since 10 Ma relative to the Pacific and North American plates and the mantle, Tectonophysics 318, 119–159.Google Scholar
  13. Dong, D., T. A. Herring, and R. W. King (1998), Estimating regional deformation from a combination of space and terrestrial geodetic data, J. of Geodesy 72, 200 –214.Google Scholar
  14. Feigl, K. L., D. C. Agnew, Y. Bock, D. Dong, A. Donnellan, B. H. Hager, T. A. Herring, D. D. Jackson, T. H. Jordan, R. W. King, S. Larsen, K. M. Larson, M. H. Murray, Z. Shen, and F. H. Webb (1993), Space Geodetic Measurement of Crustal Deformation in Central and Southern California, 1984–1992, J. of Geophys. Res. 98 (B12), 21,677–21,712.Google Scholar
  15. Ferrari, L. (1995), Miocene shearing along the northern boundary of the Jalisco block and the opening of the southern Gulf of California, Geology 23 (8), 751–754.Google Scholar
  16. Ferrari, L. (2004), Slab detachment control on mafic volcanic pulse and mantle heterogeneity in central Mexico, Geology 32 (1), 77–80.Google Scholar
  17. Ferrari, L. and J. Rosas-Elguera (2000), Late Miocene to Quaternary extension at the northern boundary of the Jalisco block, western Mexico: The Tepic-Zacoalco rift revised, in Delgado-Granados, H., G. Aguirre, and J. M. Stock, eds., Cenozioc Tectonics and Volcanism of Mexico: Boulder, Colorado, GSA Special Paper 334, 41–63.Google Scholar
  18. Ferrari, L., G. Pasquare, S. Venegas, D. Castillo, and F. Romero (1994), Regional tectonics of western Mexico and its implications for the northern boundary of the Jalisco Block, Geofisica Internacional 33 (1), 139–151.Google Scholar
  19. Frey, H. M., R. A. Lange, C. M. Hall, H. Delgado-Granados, I. S. E. Carmichael (2007), A Pliocene ignimbrite flare-up along the Tepic-Zacoalco rift: Evidence for the initial stages of rifting between the Jalisco block (Mexico) and North America, GSA Bulletin 119 (1/2), 49–64.Google Scholar
  20. Garduño-Monroy, V. H., R. Saucedo-Girón, Z. Jiménez, J. C. Gavilanes-Ruiz, A. Cortés-Cortés, and R. M. Uribe-Cifuentes (1998), La falla Tamazula, Límite suroriental del Bloque Jalisco, y sus relaciones con el complejo volcánico de Colima, México, Rev. Mex. Cienc. Geol. 15, 132–144.Google Scholar
  21. Grand, S. P., T. Yang, S. Suhardja, D. Wilson, M. G. Speziale, J. Gomez Gonzalez, G. Leon-Soto, J. Ni, and T. Dominguez Reyes (2007), Seismic structure of the Rivera subduction zone – the MARS experiment (abstract), Eos, Trans., AGU, T32A-02.Google Scholar
  22. Herring, T. A., J. L. Davis, and I. I. Shapiro (1990), Geodesy by Radio Interferometry: The Application of Kalman Filtering to the Analysis of Very Long Baseline Interferometry Data, J. of Geophys. Res. 95 (B8), 12,561–12,581.Google Scholar
  23. Hutton, W., C. DeMets, O. Sanchez, G. Suarez, and J. Stock (2001), Slip kinematics and dynamics during and after the 1995 October 9 M w = 8.0 Colima-Jalisco earthquake, Mexico, from GPS geodetic constraints, Geophys. J. Int. 146, 637–658.Google Scholar
  24. Johnson, C. A. and C. G. A. Harrison (1990), Neotectonics in central Mexico, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 64, 187–210.Google Scholar
  25. Khutorskoy, M. D., L. A. Delgado-Argote, R. Fernandez, V. I. Kononov, B. G. Polyak (1994), Tectonics of the offshore Manzanillo and Tecpan basins, Mexican Pacific, from heat flow, bathymetric and seismic data, Geofis. Int. 33, 161–185.Google Scholar
  26. Kostoglodov, V. and W. Bandy (1995), Seismotectonic constraints on the convergence rate between the Rivera and North American plates, J. of Geophys. Res. 100 (B9), 17,977–17,989.Google Scholar
  27. Luhr, J. F., S. A. Nelson, J. F. Allan, and I. S. E. Carmichael (1985), Active rifting in southwestern Mexico: Manifestations of an incipient eastward spreading-ridge jump, Geology 13, 54–57.Google Scholar
  28. Mao, A., C. G. A. Harrison, and T. H. Dixon (1999), Noise in GPS coordinate time series, J. of Geophys. Res. 104 (B2), 2797–2816.Google Scholar
  29. Marquez-Azua, B. M. and C. DeMets (2003), Crustal velocity field of Mexico from continuous GPS measurements, 1993 to June 2001: Implications for the neotectonics of Mexico, J. of Geophys. Res. 108 (B9), 2450, doi: 10.1029/2002/2002JB002241.
  30. Marquez-Azua, B. M. and C. DeMets (2009), Deformation of Mexico from continuous GPS from 1993 to 2008, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 10, Q02003, doi: 10.1029/2008GC002278.
  31. Marquez-Azua, B. M., C. DeMets, and T. Masterlark (2002), Strong interseismic coupling, fault afterslip, and viscoelastic flow before and after the Oct. 9, 1995 Colima-Jalisco earthquake: Continuous GPS measurements from Colima, Mexico; Geophysical Research Letters 29 (N.8), 122-1–122-4.Google Scholar
  32. Masterlark, T., C. DeMets, H. F. Wang, J. Stock, and O. Sanchez (2001), Homogeneous vs. heterogeneous subduction zone models: Coseismic and postseismic deformation, Geophysical Review Letters 28, 4047–4050.Google Scholar
  33. Melbourne, T., I. Carmichael, C. DeMets, K. Hudnut, O. Sanchez, J. Stock, G. Suarez, F. Webb (1997), The geodetic signature of the M8.0 Oct. 9, 1995, Jalisco subduction earthquake, Geophys. Res. Let. 24 (6), 715–718.Google Scholar
  34. Melbourne, T., F. Webb, J. Stock, and C. Reigber (2002), Rapid postseismic transients in subduction zones from continuous GPS, J. Geophys. Res. 107 (B10), 2241, doi: 10.1029/20001JB000555.
  35. Molnar, P. and J. M. Stock (1985), A method for bounding uncertainties in combined plate reconstructions, J. of Geophys. Res. 90 (B14), 13537–12544.Google Scholar
  36. Nixon, G. T. (1982), The relationship between Quaternary volcanism in central Mexico and the seismicity and structure of subducted ocean lithosphere, Geol. Soc. of Am. Bull. 93, 514–523.Google Scholar
  37. Nuñez-Cornú, F. J., R. L. Marta, F. A. Nava-P., G. Reyes-Davila, and C. Suarez-Plascencia (2002), Characteristics of seismicity in the coast and north of Jalisco Block, Mexico, Phys. of the Earth and Planet. Int. 132, 141-155.Google Scholar
  38. Pacheco, J., S. K. Singh, J. Dominguez, A. Hurtado, L. Quintanar, Z. Jimenez, J. Yamamoto, C. Gutierrez, M. Santoyo, W. Bandy, M. Guzman, V. Kostoglodov (1997), The October 9, 1995 Colima-Jalisco, Mexico earthquake (M W 8): An aftershock study and a comparison of this earthquake with those of 1932, Geophys. Res. Let. 24 (17), 2223–2226.Google Scholar
  39. Pacheco, J. F., C. A. Mortera-Gutierrez, H. Delgado, S. K. Singh, R. W. Valenzuela, N. M. Shapiro, M. A. Santoyo, A. Hurtado, R. Barron, and E. Gutierrez-Moguel (1999), Tectonic significance of an earthquake sequence in the Zacoalco half-graben, Jalisco, Mexico, Journal of South American Earth Sciences 12, 557–565.Google Scholar
  40. Pacheco, J., W. Bandy, G. A. Reyes-Davila, F. J. Nunez-Cornu, C. A. Ramirez-Vazquez, J. R. Barron (2003), The Colima, Mexico, earthquake (Mw 5.3) of 7 March 2000: seismic activity along the southern Colima rift, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 93, 1458–1476.Google Scholar
  41. Pardo, M. and G. Suarez (1995), Shape of the subducted Rivera and Cocos plates in southern Mexico: Seismic and tectonic implications, J. of Geophys. Res. 100 (B7), 12,357–12,373.Google Scholar
  42. Rosas-Elguera, J., L. Ferrari, V. H. Garduño-Monroy, J. Urrutia-Fucugauchi (1996), Continental boundaries of the Jalisco block and their influence in the Pliocene-Quaternary kinematics of western Mexico, Geology 24 (10), 921–924.Google Scholar
  43. Rosas-Elguera, J., L. Ferrari, M. Martinez, J. Urritia-Fucagauchi (1997), Stratigraphy and Tectonics of the Guadalajara Region and Triple-Junction Area, Western Mexico, International Geology Review 39, 125–140.Google Scholar
  44. Schmitt, S. V., C. DeMets, J. Stock, O. Sanchez, B. Marquez-Azua, and G. Reyes (2007), A geodetic study of the 2003 January 22 Tecomán, Colima, Mexico earthquake, Geophys. J. Int. 169, 389–406.Google Scholar
  45. Singh, S. K., L. Ponce, S. P. Nishenko (1985), The great Jalisco, Mexico, earthquakes of 1932: Subduction of the Rivera plate, Bull. Seis. Soc. Am. 75 (5), 1301–1313.Google Scholar
  46. Stock, J. M. (1993), Tectónica de placas y la evolución del bloque Jalisco, México, GEOS, Bol. Mex Geofis. Union 13 (3), 3–9.Google Scholar
  47. Suarez, G., V. Garcia-Acosta, and R. Gaulon (1994), Active crustal deformation in the Jalisco block, Mexico: evidence for a great historical earthquake in the 16 th century, Tectonophysics, 234, 117–127.Google Scholar
  48. Suhardja, S., S. Grand, D. Wilson, M. Guzman-Speziale, J. Gomez-Gonzalez, J. Ni, and T. Dominguez-Reyes (2007), Crustal structure beneath Southwestern Mexico (abstract), Eos, Trans., AGU, S33A-1052.Google Scholar
  49. Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J. and T. Gonzalez-Moran (2006), Structural pattern at the northwestern sector of the Tepic-Zacoalco rift and tectonic implications for the Jalisco block, western Mexico, Earth Planets Space 58, 1303–1308.Google Scholar
  50. Wang, K. (2007), Elastic and viscoelastic models of crustal deformation in subduction earthquake cycles, in The Seismogenic Zone of Subduction Thrust Faults, eds. T. H. Dixon and J. C. Moore, 540–575.Google Scholar
  51. Wang, X., F. Niu, J. Ni, and S. Grand (2008), Crustal and Mantle Structure of the Jalisco Block of western Mexico from Surface Wave Tomography (abstract), Eos, Trans., AGU, S23A-1871.Google Scholar
  52. Yagi, Y., T. Mikumo, J. Pachecho, and G. Reyes (2004), Source Rupture Process of the Tecomán, Colima, Mexico Earthquake of 22 January 2003, Determined by Joint Inversion of Teleseismic Body-Wave and Near-Source Data, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 94, 1795–1807.Google Scholar
  53. Yang, T., S. P. Grand, D. Wilson, M. Guzman-Speziale, J. M. Gomez-Gonzalez, T. Dominguez-Reyes, and J. Ni (2009), Seismic structure beneath the Rivera subduction zone from finite-frequency seismic tomography, J. Geophys. Res. 114, B01302, doi: 10.1029/2008JB005830.
  54. Zumberge, J. F., M. B. Heflin, D. C. Jefferson, M. M. Watkins, and F. H. Webb (1997), Precise point positioning for the efficient and robust analysis of GPS data from large networks, J. of Geophys. Res. 102 (B3), 5005–5017.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle M. Selvans
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joann M. Stock
    • 1
  • Charles DeMets
    • 2
  • Osvaldo Sanchez
    • 3
  • Bertha Marquez-Azua
    • 4
  1. 1.Seismological LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeoscienceUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Instituto de GeofisicaUniversidad Nacional Autonoma de MexicoMexico D.FMexico
  4. 4.DGOT/SisVoc, Universisdad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico

Personalised recommendations