Multichannel Seismic Imaging of the Rivera Plate Subduction at the Seismogenic Jalisco Block Area (Western Mexican Margin)

  • Rafael BartolomeEmail author
  • Estefanía Górriz
  • Juanjo Dañobeitia
  • Diego Cordoba
  • David Martí
  • Alejandra L. Cameselle
  • Francisco Núñez-Cornú
  • William L. Bandy
  • Carlos A. Mortera-Gutiérrez
  • Diana Nuñez
  • Arturo Castellón
  • Jose Luis Alonso
Part of the Pageoph Topical Volumes book series (PTV)


During the TSUJAL marine geophysical survey, conducted in February and March 2014, Spanish, Mexican and British scientists and technicians explored the western margin of Mexico, considered one of the most active seismic zones in America. This work aims to characterize the internal structure of the subduction zone of the Rivera plate beneath the North American plate in the offshore part of the Jalisco Block, to link the geodynamic and the recent tectonic deformation occurring there with the possible generation of tsunamis and earthquakes. For this purpose, it has been carried out acquisition, processing and geological interpretation of a multichannel seismic reflection profile running perpendicular to the margin. Crustal images show an oceanic domain, dominated by subduction–accretion along the lower slope of the margin with a subparallel sediment thickness of up to 1.6 s two-way travel time (approx. 2 km) in the Middle American Trench. Further, from these data the region appears to be prone to giant earthquake production. The top of the oceanic crust (intraplate reflector) is very well imaged. It is almost continuous along the profile with a gentle dip (<10°); however, it is disrupted by normal faulting resulting from the bending of the plate during subduction. The continental crust presents a well-developed accretionary prism consisting of highly deformed sediments with prominent slumping towards the trench that may be the result of past tsunamis. Also, a bottom simulating reflector (BSR) is identified in the first half a second (twtt) of the section. High amplitude reflections at around 7–8 s twtt clearly image a discontinuous Moho, defining a very gentle dipping subduction plane.


Jalisco Block Mexico Rivera plate crustal structure seismic imaging subduction earthquake tsunami BSR gas hydrate trench infill 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Bartolome
    • 1
    Email author
  • Estefanía Górriz
    • 1
    • 7
  • Juanjo Dañobeitia
    • 2
  • Diego Cordoba
    • 3
  • David Martí
    • 4
  • Alejandra L. Cameselle
    • 1
  • Francisco Núñez-Cornú
    • 5
  • William L. Bandy
    • 6
  • Carlos A. Mortera-Gutiérrez
    • 6
  • Diana Nuñez
    • 5
  • Arturo Castellón
    • 2
  • Jose Luis Alonso
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Ciencias del Mar-CSICBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Unidad de Tecnología Marina-CSICBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad UniversitariaMadridSpain
  4. 4.Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume AlmeraBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Centro Universitario de la Costa (CUC)Puerto VallartaMexico
  6. 6.Instituto de Geofísica, UNAMCiudad UniversitariaMéxicoMexico
  7. 7.University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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