Reanalysis of the 1761 transatlantic tsunami

Wronna, Martin; Baptista, Maria Ana; Miranda, Jorge Miguel

The segment of the Africa–Eurasia plate boundary between the Gloria Fault and the Strait of Gibraltar has been the setting of significant tsunamigenic earthquakes. However, their precise location and rupture mechanism remain poorly understood. The investigation of each event contributes to a better understanding of the structure of this diffuse plate boundary and ultimately leads to a better evaluation of the seismic and tsunami hazard. The 31 March 1761 event is one of the few known transatlantic tsunamis. Macroseismic data and tsunami travel times were used in previous studies to assess its source area. However, no one discussed the geological source of this event. In this study, we present a reappraisal of tsunami data to show that the observations data set is compatible with a geological source close to Coral Patch and Ampere seamounts. We constrain the rupture mechanism with plate kinematics and the tectonic setting of the area. This study favours the hypothesis that the 1761 event occurred in the southwest of the likely location of the 1 November 1755 earthquake in a slow deforming compressive regime driven by the dextral transpressive collision between Africa and Eurasia.

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Wronna, Martin / Baptista, Maria Ana / Miranda, Jorge Miguel: Reanalysis of the 1761 transatlantic tsunami. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Martin Wronna et al.

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