In a new work carried out by the Institute of Sciences, Del Mar, scientists have explored the exact location of the boundary between European and African tectonic plates located in the Alborana maritime area, one of the most violent sites on the planet.
For the first time, scientists identified the complex geometry of the active fracture system and understood how it had moved over the past five million years, and it turned out to be one of the most important fracture systems in the region and that it absorbed most of the deformation caused by the collision between the Eurasian and African stoves.
Although the geological structure of the Alboran Seabed has been extensively studied since the 1970s, the data have not yet been accurate enough to understand the tectonics of the area, but the quality of the data and the modern methods used to carry out this work have made it possible to describe in detail the system of active fractures of more than 300 km.
"For the study, we have used the latest methods of data collection on board the Spanish Oceanographic vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa," explains the researcher ICM-CSIC and Professor ICREA César R. Ranero, who also participated in the study.
So far, scientists have not known whether there are major active fractures in the Alboran Sea, as well as the exact location of the tectonic boundary facing the European and African stoves, which are key to reassessing the seismic and tsunami risks to the coastal areas of the Western Mediterranean.