Earthquake Science

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 309–323 | Cite as

Seismicity pattern of the Betic Cordillera (Southern Spain) derived from the fractal properties of earthquakes and faults

  • J Henares RomeroEmail author
  • C López Casado
  • J Badal
  • J A Peláez


Several studies on earthquake occurrence and associated faulting have demonstrated that both phenomena have a scale-invariant behavior which can be analyzed by means of a set of non-integer dimensions (D q ) describing their fractal properties and the calculation of multi-fractal spectra. It is the case that the behavior of these spectra is asymptotic at the ends of the variation interval of q, which is a real number that enters into the definition of the partition function of the dataset. The difference between the extreme values, called multi-fractal spectrum slope, is used to investigate the heterogeneity of the spatial distribution of earthquakes and fault systems. In this paper we focus on the Betic Cordillera, southeastern Spain, which is commonly considered the contact between the Eurasian and African plates and has an important seismic activity in the context of the Iberian Peninsula. Some of the most conspicuous Iberian earthquakes, such as the 1829 mb6.3 Torrevieja and the 1884 mb6.1 Alhama de Granada earthquakes occurred in this mountain range and both reached intensity X. The present work implies a new analysis based on the slope of multi-fractal spectra and referred to the historical seismicity of the region, specifically b-value (frequency distribution of earthquakes respect to magnitude), epicentral location, seismic energy and faulting. On this basis we propose a seismotectonic zonation that is contrasted with the stress state and the geodynamical evolution of the Betic Cordillera.

Key words

fractal dimensions multi-fractal spectrum slope seismotectonic Betic Cordillera 

CLC number



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Copyright information

© The Seismological Society of China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J Henares Romero
    • 1
    Email author
  • C López Casado
    • 1
  • J Badal
    • 2
  • J A Peláez
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical Physics and CosmosUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Physics of the Earth, Sciences BUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Physics, Higher Polytechnic SchoolUniversity of JaénJaénSpain

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