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2016-06-02. A New View of the Plate Dynamics Behind Earthquakes in Ecuador.

posted Jun 3, 2016, 10:02 AM by Alan Gould
By Sarah Stanley, EoS-Earth & Space Science News, AGU. For GSS Energy Flow chapter 2. Excerpt: On 16 April, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck coastal northern Ecuador, killing hundreds of people and injuring thousands more. The quake hit in the midst of ongoing efforts to update a map of seismic hazards throughout the earthquake-prone country. In a recent paper, Yepes et al. present a new interpretation of the mantle dynamics behind Ecuadorean tremors, and they identify 19 seismic zones that contribute to earthquake risk. Ecuador is no stranger to deadly quakes. It lies above a subduction zone where the Nazca Plate plunges beneath the South American Plate, giving rise to a long history of seismic activity. Complicating this subduction is how the Nazca plate itself seems split into two sections by the Grijalva rifted margin, which cuts southwest to northeast beneath central Ecuador. ...A simplified picture models the subduction interface as dipping fault planes. However, Ecuador’s individual crustal faults and fault systems are complex. Despite their importance to hazard assessments, these systems are still poorly studied so Yepes’s team focused on defining seismic zones....  https://eos.org/research-spotlights/a-new-view-of-the-plate-dynamics-behind-earthquakes-in-ecuador