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Giant earthquakes in South-Central Chile revealed by Holocene mass-wasting events in Lake Puyehue
Moernaut, J.; De Batist, M.; Charlet, F.; Heirman, K.; Chapron, E.; Pino, M.; Brümmer, R.; Urrutia, R. (2007). Giant earthquakes in South-Central Chile revealed by Holocene mass-wasting events in Lake Puyehue. Sediment. Geol. 195(3-4): 239-256. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2006.08.005
In: Sedimentary Geology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0037-0738, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280240 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Lake sediments; Mass-wasting; South-Central Chile; Holocene; Giant earthquakes

Authors  Top 
  • Moernaut, J., more
  • De Batist, M., more
  • Charlet, F.
  • Heirman, K., more
  • Chapron, E.
  • Pino, M.
  • Brümmer, R.
  • Urrutia, R.

Abstract
    Very high resolution reflection seismic profiling (3.5 kHz) revealed nine Holocene mass-wasting events in Lake Puyehue (South-Central Chile). These events are made up of numerous coeval mass-wasting deposits and some homogenites, which are radiocarbon-dated. The two youngest mass-wasting events could be attributed to the giant AD 1960 and AD 1575 Valdivia earthquakes. The most extensive event took place around 1660 cal yr BP. Evaluation of all possible slope failure processes led us to infer that giant earthquakes, roughly comparable to the AD 1960 Valdivia earthquake (Mw = 9.5), are the most likely trigger mechanisms of all mass-wasting events in Lake Puyehue. These occurred with a mean recurrence rate of 1000 yr although relatively aperiodically (ranging between 500 and 2000 yr). Quantitative comparison of mass-wasting events related to historically reported earthquakes (AD 1960 and AD 1575) showed significant differences although these earthquakes are assumed to have had a comparable strength. A lowered background sedimentation rate could be responsible for this variable earthquake recording, which highlights the importance of a thorough assessment of the depositional history before using lacustrine records for quantitative paleoseismic analysis.

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