Seismic source characteristics of the 2016 Pedernales-Ecuador earthquake (Mw 7.8)

César Jiménez, Miguel Saavedra J., Nick Moreno

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The 2016 Pedernales earthquake (Mw 7.8), is part of the sequence of large earthquakes in Ecuador and Colombia: 1906 (~8.8 Mw), 1942 (Mw 7.8), 1958 (Mw 7.7), 1979 (Mw 8.2), all these events with a focal mechanism of the thrust fault type. In this research, we have obtained the seismic source distribution (indicating the presence of 2 main asperities), from inversion of teleseismic signals, as well as the parameters of the seismic rupture process: focal mechanism that indicates a type of inverse fault (strike = 25, dip = 12, rake = 118) for a focal depth of 23 km and the source time function indicating a composite event, the duration of the rupture process was around 70 s, assuming an average rupture velocity of 3.0 km/s. The seismic moment was calculated at 5.77×1020 Nm, equivalent to a magnitude of Mw 7.8. The smallest asperity is located around the epicentre and the main asperity is located around the coastline to the south-west from the epicentre. The maximum dislocation or slip was 3.75 m. The coseismic vertical displacement is not conductive to the generation of a large tsunami, as it is around 1 m only. The zone of Pedernales have a Coulomb stress transfer of 22 bar, therefore, this area is loaded with stresses and is a potentially seismic zone for an upcoming earthquake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106670
JournalPhysics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Focal mechanism
  • Pedernales earthquake
  • Seismic inversion


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