Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 168, Issue 8–9, pp 1339–1353 | Cite as

Source Characteristics of the 22 January 2003 M w = 7.5 Tecomán, Mexico, Earthquake: New Insights

  • Luis Quintanar
  • Héctor E. Rodríguez-Lozoya
  • Roberto Ortega
  • Juan M. Gómez-González
  • Tonatiuh Domínguez
  • Clara Javier
  • Leonardo Alcántara
  • Cecilio J. Rebollar


Aftershock locations, source parameters and slip distribution in the coupling zone between the overriding North American and subducted Rivera and Cocos plates were calculated for the 22 January 2003 Tecomán earthquake. Aftershock locations lie north of the El Gordo Graben with a northwest-southeast trend along the coast and superimposed on the rupture areas of the 1932 (M w = 8.2) and 1995 (M w = 8.0) earthquakes. The Tecomán earthquake ruptured the northwest sector of the Colima gap, however, half of the gap remains unbroken. The aftershock area has a rectangular shape of 42 ± 2 by 56 ± 2 km with a shallow dip of roughly 12° of the Wadati-Benioff zone. Fault geometry calculated with the Nábělek (1984) inversion procedure is: (strike, dip, rake) = (277°, 27°, 78°). From the teleseimic body wave spectra and assuming a circular fault model, we estimated source duration of 20 ± 2 s, a stress drop of 5.4 ± 2.5 MPa and a seismic moment of 2.7 ± .7 × 1020 Nm. The spatial slip distribution on the fault plane was estimated using new additional near field strong motion data (54 km from the epicenter). We confirm their main conclusions, however we found four zones of seismic moment release clearly separated. One of them, not well defined before, is located toward the coast down dip. This observation is the result of adding new data in the inversion. We calculated a maximum slip of 3.2 m, a source duration of 30 s and a seismic moment of 1.88 × 1020 Nm.


Rupture process focal mechanism inversion waveform modeling 



We would like to thank Arturo Pérez-Vertti for the fieldwork and Antonio Mendoza for helping to handle the digital data. Thanks to the following networks for providing seismic data through the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center: FDSN, GEOFON, Geoscope, IDA, GTSN, UI, USGS. We acknowledge El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT) for sponsoring part of this project (Proyecto 37038-T). One of us (HERL) was supported by a scholarship from PROMEP.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Quintanar
    • 1
  • Héctor E. Rodríguez-Lozoya
    • 2
  • Roberto Ortega
    • 3
  • Juan M. Gómez-González
    • 4
  • Tonatiuh Domínguez
    • 5
  • Clara Javier
    • 6
  • Leonardo Alcántara
    • 7
  • Cecilio J. Rebollar
    • 8
  1. 1.Instituto de GeofísicaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico D.F.Mexico
  2. 2.Facultad de Arquitectura, Facultad de Ingeniería CivilUniversidad Autónoma de SinaloaCuliacánMexico
  3. 3.Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Unidad La PazLa PazMexico
  4. 4.Centro de GeocienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoJuriquillaMexico
  5. 5.Observatorio Vulcanológico de ColimaUniversidad de ColimaColimaMexico
  6. 6.Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Gerencia de Estudios de Ingeniería CivilGuadalajaraMexico
  7. 7.Instituto de IngenieríaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxico D.F.Mexico
  8. 8.Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de EnsenadaEnsenadaMexico

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