Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Geomorphological Index Created For Studying Active Tectonics Of Mountains

Date:
September 16, 2008
Source:
University of Granada - Communications Department
Summary:
To build a hospital, nuclear power station or a large dam you need to know the possible earthquake risks of the terrain. Now, researchers from the Universities of Granada and Jaen, alongside scientists from the University of California (Santa Barbara, USA), have developed, based on relief data from the southern edge of the Sierra Nevada, a geomorphological index that analyses land form in relation to active tectonics, applicable to any mountain chain on the planet.

To build a hospital, nuclear power station or a large dam you need to know the possible earthquake risks of the terrain. Now, researchers from the Universities of Granada and Jaen, alongside scientists from the University of California (Santa Barbara, USA), have developed, based on relief data from the southern edge of the Sierra Nevada, a geomorphological index that analyses land form in relation to active tectonics, applicable to any mountain chain on the planet.

Active tectonics comprise the most up-to-date deformation processes that affect the Earth's crust, resulting in earthquakes or recent deformations in the planet’s faults and folds. This phenomena is analysed in geology research carried out before commencing engineering works.

Depending on the type of project (nuclear power stations or power stations, radioactive storage, natural gas or CO2, large dams and tunnels, hydroelectricity projects...) and the type of earthquake (single or multiple), the time period for evaluating active tectonics varies between 10,000 and 100,000 years for studies prior to beginning construction work.

The study, which is now published in the magazine Geomorphology and is the result of the doctoral thesis of Rachid El Hamdouni, Professor of the Departament of Civil Engineering at the University of Granada, defines a new geomorphological index called Relative Active Tectonics Indexpos, which identifies four classes of active tectonics (from low to very high) and uses six geomorphological indicators.

“The main use of this new index is that it establishes a close relationship between this, the land forms, and direct evidence of active faults”, El Hamdouni explained.

A seismic map for southern Spain

The indices are calculated with the help of Geographical Information Systems and teledetection programs in large areas which identify geomorphological anomalies possibly related to active tectonics. “This is really useful in southern Spain where studies on active tectonics are not very widely distributed”, Chacón pointed out.

The study has focused on the Padul-Dúrcal fault and a series of associated fault structures on the edge of the Sierra Nevada, where over the last 30 years seismic activity has been recorded by the Observatory of the Andalusian Institute of Geophysics and Prevention of Seismic Disasters. Chacón explained that the map obtained with the new index depends exclusively on the land forms and divides the area studied into four parts, “of which two thirds of the total area is classed as having high or very high tectonic activity”.

The Sierra Nevada is an Alpine mountain chain “with variable active tectonic gradients caused by the collision of Africa with Europe which has given rise to anticlines aligned from east to west, as well as the transverse extension with variable vertical gradients around 0.5 mm/year in normal faults”, Chacón specified.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada - Communications Department. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Granada - Communications Department. "New Geomorphological Index Created For Studying Active Tectonics Of Mountains." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911142421.htm>.
University of Granada - Communications Department. (2008, September 16). New Geomorphological Index Created For Studying Active Tectonics Of Mountains. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911142421.htm
University of Granada - Communications Department. "New Geomorphological Index Created For Studying Active Tectonics Of Mountains." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080911142421.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888

New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — Federal researchers have released new images of the City of Chester, a steamship that sank in San Francisco Bay in 1888. Researchers recently found the shipwreck while mapping shipping routes. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Risk of Asteroid Hitting Earth Higher Than Thought, Study Shows

Risk of Asteroid Hitting Earth Higher Than Thought, Study Shows

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 23, 2014) — A group of space explorers say the chance of a city-obliterating asteroid striking Earth is higher than scientists previously believed. Deborah Gembara reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) — The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins