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The 7 September 1999 Athens 5.9 Ms earthquake: remote sensing and digital elevation model inputs towards identifying the seismic fault

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The meisoseismal area of the (Ms = 5.9) earthquake of 7 September 1999 in Athens, Greece was localized in the western suburbs of the city (38.1° N, 23.7°E) where no active faulting had been mapped before. Here we show that remote sensing can provide conclusive evidence for the identification of seismogenic structure. Methods applied were: interpretation of Landsat TM images, digital overlays of field observations and aftershock distribution patterns, construction of a 20-m DEM and application of shading techniques, and comparison with fault plane solutions and dominant slip direction in striation populations. Our results imply that the earthquake source is located within the NW-SE trending valley in the Fili region across the south foothills of Mt Parnitha. The earthquake occurred along a normal fault with 110°N-130°N strike, which exhibits typical morphotectonic features of an active fault.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Integrated Information Systems SA, 72-74 Salaminos St., 17675 Athens, Greece 2: Geodynamics Institute, National Observatory of Athens, PO Box 20048, 11810 Athens, Greece 3: Department of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54006 Greece

Publication date: January 10, 2001

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