The new Central American seismic hazard zonation: Mutual consensus based on up to day seismotectonic framework Artículo académico uri icon


  • Central America is one of the most active seismic zones in the World, due to the interaction of five tectonic plates (North America, Caribbean, Coco, Nazca and South America), and its internal deformation, which generates almost one destructive earthquakes (5.4 ≤ Mw ≤ 8.1) every year. A new seismological zonation for Central America is proposed based on seismotectonic framework, a geological context (tectonic and geological maps), geophysical and geodetic evidence (gravimetric maps, magnetometric, GPS observations), and previous works. As a main source of data a depurated earthquake catalog was collected covering the period from 1522 to 2015. This catalog was homogenized to a moment magnitude scale (Mw). After a careful analysis of all the integrated geological and seismological information, the seismogenic zones were established into seismic areas defined by similar patterns of faulting, seismicity, and rupture mechanism. The tectonic environment has required considering seismic zones in two particular seismological regimes: a) crustal faulting (including local faults, major fracture zones of plate boundary limits, and thrust fault of deformed belts) and b) subduction, taking into account the change in the subduction angle along the trench, and the type and location of the rupture. The seismicity in the subduction zone is divided into interplate and intraplate inslab seismicity. The regional seismic zonation proposed for the whole of Central America, include local seismic zonations, avoiding discontinuities at the national boundaries, because of a consensus between the 7 countries, based on the cooperative work of specialists on Central American seismotectonics and related topics.

fecha de publicación

  • 2017