The tectonic source of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and tsunami

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N. Zitellini
F. Chierici
R. Sartori
L. Torelli


The SW continental margin of Iberia is affected by several tectonic structures of Cenozoic to Recent age, gen-erated by the dynamics of the Iberia-Africa plate margin. This activity is testified by diffuse seismicity along the eastern portion of the Azores-Gibraltar line. The most important active structure, detected during a reflection seismic survey in 1992, is a thrust-fault, some 50 km long and with dip-slip throw of more than 1 km, located offshore Cabo de S. Vincente. A relocation of historical earthquakes in the area shows that this structure lies very close to the epicentre of the catastrophic 1755 Lisbon earthquake and that it should be the generator of the event. This submarine structure can now be studied for modelization of tsunamis and consequent risk mitigation.

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How to Cite
Zitellini, N., Chierici, F., Sartori, R. and Torelli, L. (1999) “The tectonic source of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and tsunami”, Annals of Geophysics, 42(1). doi: 10.4401/ag-3699.