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Active tectonic deformation and associated earthquakes: a case study—South West Carpathians Bend zone

Abstract

Active tectonic deformation is continuously shaping the landscape in the Alpine Orogenic system. Earthquakes are clear proves of neotectonic deformation process. In the Romanian Carpathians the most active deformation is recorded in the South Eastern Carpathian Bend Zone. Nevertheless, seismicity associated to latest orogenic stage of active deformation is not limited to this area. Other seismic regions, like the South West Carpathians Bend Zone, were identified. Recently, several earthquake sequences were recorded in the Caransebes-Mehadia (CMB) and Hateg basins (HB). These sedimentary basins developed over the South Carpathians, Getic/Supra Getic and Danubian basement napes, their evolution being related with the N-ward tectonic transport of the Carpathian Orogen, in the current position, during the Paleogene-Quaternary times. The aim of the present study is to perform a thorough analysis of the earthquakes recorded in these two basins in correlation with the observed geological structure to better understand and constrain the neotectonic processes affecting the SW Carpathians Bend Zone. The focal mechanisms determined for HB show a predominant strike-slip faulting component with the principal axes oriented approximately NW–SE (compression) and NE–SW (extension), a reorientation from the N-S one described for the Pliocene–Pleistocene phase. The focal mechanisms in CMB imply N–S extension with normal or strike-slip faulting. We argue that the present day tectonic processes are not restricted to the SE Carpathians Bend zone, as previously inferred. Instead they affect a much larger area of the Carpathian Orogen, like the SW Carpathians Bend zone.

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Acknowledgements

Useful discussions with Vlad Diaconescu about the geology of the area resulted in fruitful ideas that have been incorporated in the study. Move software of Middland Valley have been used for building up the cross-sections in Figs. 2 and 3d block diagram in Fig. 7.

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Correspondence to M. Popa.

Appendix

Appendix

Year Month Day Hour Min Sec Lat Lon H Mw  
Hateg sequence 1
2011 3 17 6 36 19.17 45.594 22.851 6.5 2.3  
2011 3 17 6 37 22.36 45.606 22.854 3.3 2.3 fps
2011 3 24 11 2 25.24 45.605 22.847 7.8 3.1 fps
2011 3 25 2 8 27.76 45.610 22.853 7.1 2.3 fps
2011 3 25 2 22 16.10 45.600 22.845 6.8 2.3  
2011 3 25 2 29 20.64 45.603 22.846 6.9 2.4 fps
2011 3 25 9 40 37.56 45.598 22.851 7.3 2.4 fps
2011 3 25 9 48 58.66 45.618 22.855 5.4 2.4  
2011 3 25 9 51 13.09 45.602 22.848 6.3 2.3  
2011 3 25 12 1 22.86 45.604 22.849 6.7 3.2 fps
2011 3 25 14 51 26.46 45.600 22.862 6 2.4 fps
2011 3 25 15 12 24.70 45.600 22.845 6.8 3.3 fps
2011 3 26 23 37 3.56 45.593 22.871 6.9 2.2  
2011 3 27 1 13 3.53 45.610 22.844 5.2 2.3  
2011 3 27 19 38 30.40 45.592 22.844 2 2.2  
2011 3 31 6 29 39.23 45.595 22.860 6.3 2.3  
2011 4 22 19 44 19.05 45.598 22.855 8.9 2.3  
2011 4 22 19 54 33.02 45.603 22.851 0 2.3 No convergence on depth
2011 5 31 23 58 37.71 45.602 22.860 6.4 2.4 fps
Hateg sequence 2
2013 9 8 13 0 42.30 45.597 22.841 8.0 3.6 fps
2013 9 8 13 7 6.96 45.546 22.871 9.4 2.3  
2013 9 8 13 7 37.10 45.598 22.888 11.6 2.2  
2013 9 8 13 9 51.40 45.630 22.864 0.0 2.0 No convergence on depth
2013 9 8 13 14 53.20 45.604 22.862 9.1 2.3  
2013 9 8 13 15 49.10 45.611 22.857 8.3 2.2  
2013 9 8 13 22 12.28 45.607 22.845 7.1 4.0 fps
2013 9 8 13 27 51.97 45.573 22.823 8.8 2.2  
2013 9 8 13 36 51.04 45.578 22.872 0.0 2.2 No convergence on depth
2013 9 8 13 41 41.92 45.607 22.842 11.1 2.2  
2013 9 8 14 12 23.13 45.600 22.862 12.2 2.2  
2013 9 8 14 21 2.27 45.573 22.865 8.3 2.4  
2013 9 8 15 14 17.41 45.603 22.851 9.9 2.2  
2013 9 8 15 48 52.85 45.607 22.904 16.9 2.2  
2013 9 8 16 19 48.31 45.594 22.849 8.0 2.3  
2013 9 8 16 51 10.73 45.610 22.848 3.5 2.2  
2013 9 8 17 20 34.86 45.592 22.860 8.7 2.4  
2013 9 8 18 4 17.35 45.631 22.867 0.0 2.3 No convergence on depth
2013 9 8 19 51 28.86 45.597 22.867 8.1 2.3  
2013 9 8 21 9 33.67 45.591 22.851 11.7 2.2  
2013 9 8 22 4 0.78 45.632 22.872 0.0 2.2 No convergence on depth
2013 9 8 22 31 42.00 45.597 22.867 9.3 2.3  
2013 9 8 23 46 34.74 45.596 22.850 7.5 2.3  
2013 9 9 15 30 42.30 45.597 22.841 8.0 3.6 fps
2013 9 9 16 27 17.84 45.626 22.862 8.4 2.4  
2013 9 9 21 14 40.79 45.609 22.864 5.1 2.2  
2013 9 10 3 2 56.31 45.630 22.864 11.8 2.3  
2013 9 11 3 38 58.10 45.593 22.816 0.0 2.2 No convergence on depth
2013 9 14 17 34 23.22 45.605 22.876 7.8 2.5  
2013 10 13 21 37 21.94 45.600 22.854 14.0 2.2  
2013 10 17 11 31 6.86 45.596 22.896 10.6 2.1  
2013 10 22 23 28 38.65 45.584 22.871 11.1 2.2  
2013 10 26 2 23 58.90 45.616 22.846 8.8 2.1  
2013 10 27 9 52 20.96 45.535 22.935 17.0 2.1  
2013 10 29 21 51 39.00 45.608 22.818 6.4 2.3  
2013 10 31 6 10 49.86 45.596 22.853 7.5 2.9 fps
Caransebes-Mehadia sequence
2014 10 31 23 0 3.53 45.164 22.262 8.0 4.1  
2014 10 31 23 5 39.94 45.170 22.268 3.7 2.5  
2014 10 31 23 8 17.68 45.166 22.289 4.8 1.9 fps
2014 10 31 23 11 17.88 45.168 22.276 7.0 1.9 fps
2014 10 31 23 18 47.28 45.177 22.289 0.0 1.5 fps
2014 10 31 23 34 11.59 45.142 22.247 0.0 1.5  
2014 10 31 23 41 4.63 45.169 22.254 2.7 2.7  
2014 10 31 23 42 32.77 45.171 22.290 7.5 1.5  
2014 10 31 23 54 48.64 45.151 22.252 0.0 1.4  
2014 11 1 0 5 44.42 45.158 22.270 9.4 1.6  
2014 11 1 0 8 1.91 45.163 22.271 5.5 1.6  
2014 11 1 0 9 45.33 45.158 22.251 0.0 1.4  
2014 11 1 0 16 32.96 45.167 22.272 4.5 1.7  
2014 11 1 0 30 12.15 45.161 22.280 10.5 1.7  
2014 11 1 0 34 40.37 45.162 22.264 5.6 1.5  
2014 11 1 0 45 18.44 45.171 22.273 3.4 1.8  
2014 11 1 0 52 44.20 45.183 22.293 7.1 1.8  
2014 11 1 0 58 38.90 45.158 22.265 0.0 1.3  
2014 11 1 1 24 44.87 45.163 22.275 0.0 1.4  
2014 11 1 1 35 3.43 45.164 22.280 5.4 1.8  
2014 11 1 1 39 55.71 45.155 22.300 0.0 1.6  
2014 11 1 1 45 24.06 45.170 22.288 4.1 1.6  
2014 11 1 1 51 54.33 45.158 22.275 0.0 2.4  
2014 11 1 2 14 5.16 45.188 22.283 0.0 1.5  
2014 11 1 2 29 58.45 45.168 22.290 0.0 1.4  
2014 11 1 3 4 6.90 45.158 22.221 6.6 1.4  
2014 11 1 3 29 2.72 45.158 22.300 0.0 1.6  
2014 11 1 4 47 42.10 45.154 22.247 5.0 1.5  
2014 11 1 5 19 23.42 45.158 22.237 10.3 1.5  
2014 11 1 5 37 10.24 45.156 22.282 10.7 1.9  
2014 11 1 7 16 7.76 45.159 22.274 8.2 2.1  
2014 11 1 9 56 0.64 45.172 22.237 0.0 1.5  
2014 11 1 11 8 57.53 45.167 22.257 1.1 1.8  
2014 11 1 12 10 43.07 45.166 22.258 7.6 1.8  
2014 11 1 13 48 0.90 45.170 22.278 6.1 1.6  
2014 11 1 14 24 21.80 45.152 22.221 6.8 1.5  
2014 11 1 19 42 51.05 45.167 22.285 0.0 1.6  
2014 11 1 20 23 15.23 45.085 22.421 51.1 1.6  
2014 11 1 23 25 16.97 45.171 22.279 0.0 1.4  
2014 11 1 23 26 20.25 45.166 22.266 0.0 1.4  
2014 11 2 4 17 30.01 45.165 22.289 6.3 2.1  
2014 11 2 7 5 30.44 45.163 22.235 2.0 1.7  
2014 11 2 19 39 23.88 45.149 22.245 5.9 2.3  
2014 11 2 23 44 4.40 45.165 22.272 0.0 1.6  
2014 11 2 23 44 32.76 45.148 22.235 0.0 1.5  
2014 11 3 3 15 55.89 45.146 22.277 15.6 1.7  
2014 11 4 2 6 57.48 45.163 22.275 0.0 1.8  
2014 11 5 8 42 16.21 45.159 22.261 0.0 1.9  
2014 11 5 19 52 57.11 45.169 22.277 5.0 1.7  
2014 11 7 22 50 24.52 44.960 22.434 8.7 1.5  
2014 11 10 23 20 2.80 45.173 22.292 9.2 1.7  
2014 11 15 9 55 4.00 44.921 22.439 13.2 1.8  
2014 11 16 18 52 30.24 45.162 22.255 0.0 1.6  
2014 11 18 4 27 50.40 45.167 22.280 6.3 1.7  
2014 11 20 3 6 24.22 45.160 22.277 6.6 1.7  
2014 11 23 16 17 36.80 45.168 22.293 0.0 1.5  
2014 11 29 7 22 59.53 45.110 22.291 25.0 1.6  
2014 12 3 10 34 9.47 45.134 22.314 20.8 1.9  
2014 12 6 5 50 50.77 45.167 22.271 3.2 1.6  
2014 12 8 19 25 55.14 45.066 22.323 18.9 1.8  
2014 12 10 17 1 47.44 45.155 22.308 15.4 1.6  
2014 12 15 9 24 8.85 45.165 22.277 3.9 1.8  
2014 12 15 9 25 56.50 45.173 22.315 0.0 1.6  
2014 12 19 23 5 32.39 45.151 22.406 7.1 1.7  
2015 1 1 2 2 29.94 44.954 22.444 0.0 1.7  
2015 1 4 3 27 38.66 44.988 22.343 9.9 1.9  
2015 1 6 17 35 20.06 45.148 22.381 5.9 1.7  
2015 1 6 17 46 26.10 45.149 22.382 3.6 1.9  
2015 1 6 18 14 1.70 45.145 22.394 2.9 1.8  
2015 1 6 18 16 8.54 45.168 22.356 0.0 1.8  
2015 1 6 20 14 7.52 45.138 22.407 0.0 1.5  
2015 1 6 20 18 35.58 45.146 22.431 0.0 1.5  
2015 1 6 20 52 43.85 45.135 22.388 0.0 1.5  
2015 1 7 1 43 25.54 45.135 22.450 0.0 1.5  
2015 1 8 19 52 13.75 45.148 22.390 0.0 1.4  
2015 1 9 1 31 51.46 45.120 22.401 11.4 2.6  
2015 1 11 8 35 48.22 45.130 22.420 5.3 1.9  
2015 1 11 8 49 55.40 45.132 22.460 4.6 1.8  
2015 1 11 9 6 6.25 45.143 22.399 7.3 2.0  
2015 1 13 4 28 10.72 45.148 22.397 0.0 1.7  
2015 1 13 4 29 16.05 45.146 22.377 4.7 1.9  
2015 1 15 16 19 46.92 45.138 22.411 6.8 2.0  
2015 1 15 16 54 55.90 45.159 22.379 0.0 1.7  
2015 1 15 23 3 11.05 45.149 22.398 3.6 1.7  
2015 1 15 23 47 50.35 45.152 22.399 4.3 2.1  
2015 1 17 17 53 57.84 45.153 22.298 7.7 1.7  
2015 1 20 9 56 53.87 45.163 22.262 6.7 1.7  
2015 2 1 3 33 0.51 45.144 22.244 11.8 1.6  
2015 2 20 1 33 26.33 45.155 22.279 10.5 1.7  
  1. fps fault plane solution

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Popa, M., Munteanu, I., Borleanu, F. et al. Active tectonic deformation and associated earthquakes: a case study—South West Carpathians Bend zone. Acta Geod Geophys 53, 395–413 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40328-018-0224-1

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Keywords

  • Neotectonics
  • Earthquakes
  • Intra-mountainous basins
  • SW Carpathians