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Buffett G.G.,CSIC - Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera | Hurich C.A.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Vsemirnova E.A.,Durham University | Hobbs R.W.,Durham University | And 4 more authors.
Ocean Science | Year: 2010

We present the first application of Stochastic Heterogeneity Mapping based on the band-limited von Kármán function to a seismic reflection stack of a Mediterranean water eddy (meddy), a large salt lens of Mediterranean water. This process extracts two stochastic parameters directly from the reflectivity field of the seismic data: the Hurst number, which ranges from 0 to 1, and the correlation length (scale length). Lower Hurst numbers represent a richer range of high wavenumbers and correspond to a broader range of heterogeneity in reflection events. The Hurst number estimate for the top of the meddy (0.39) compares well with recent theoretical work, which required values between 0.25 and 0.5 to model internal wave surfaces in open ocean conditions based on simulating a Garrett-Munk spectrum (GM76) slope of &-2. The scale lengths obtained do not fit as well to seismic reflection events as those used in other studies to model internal waves. We suggest two explanations for this discrepancy: (1) due to the fact that the stochastic parameters are derived from the reflectivity field rather than the impedance field the estimated scale lengths may be underestimated, as has been reported; and (2) because the meddy seismic image is a two-dimensional slice of a complex and dynamic three-dimensional object, the derived scale lengths are biased to the direction of flow. Nonetheless, varying stochastic parameters, which correspond to different spectral slopes in the Garrett-Munk spectrum (horizontal wavenumber spectrum), can provide an estimate of different internal wave scales from seismic data alone. We hence introduce Stochastic Heterogeneity Mapping as a novel tool in physical oceanography.

Perea H.,LATTEX IDL | Perea H.,Center Mediterrani nvestigacions Marines i Ambientals | Gracia E.,Center Mediterrani nvestigacions Marines i Ambientals | Alfaro P.,University of Alicante | And 4 more authors.
Natural Hazards and Earth System Science | Year: 2012

The Bajo Segura fault zone (BSFZ) is the northern terminal splay of the Eastern Betic shear zone (EBSZ), a large left-lateral strike-slip fault system of sigmoid geometry stretching more than 450 km from Alicante to Almera. The BSFZ extends from the onshore Bajo Segura basin further into the Mediterranean Sea and shows a moderate instrumental seismic activity characterized by small earthquakes. Nevertheless, the zone was affected by large historical earthquakes of which the largest was the 1829 Torrevieja earthquake (IEMS98 X). The onshore area of the BSFZ is marked by active transpressive structures (faults and folds), whereas the offshore area has been scarcely explored from the tectonic point of view. During the EVENT-SHELF cruise, a total of 10 high-resolution single-channel seismic sparker profiles were obtained along and across the offshore Bajo Segura basin. Analysis of these profiles resulted in (a) the identification of 6 Quaternary seismo-stratigraphic units bounded by five horizons corresponding to regional erosional surfaces related to global sea level lowstands; and (b) the mapping of the active sub-seafloor structures and their correlation with those described onshore. Moreover, the results suggest that the Bajo Segura blind thrust fault or the Torrevieja left-lateral strike-slip fault, with prolongation offshore, could be considered as the source of the 1829 Torrevieja earthquake. These data improve our understanding of present deformation along the BSFZ and provide new insights into the seismic hazard in the area. © 2012. Author(s) CC Attribution 3.0 License.

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